playground activity

Berries for the Birds: The Best Part of the Playground

It was a chilly day and we had a little time to kill before dinner and after daycare. I asked her if she wanted to go to the park and she said “Yes!” After a few minutes on the swing she noticed berries in the sand that surrounded the swingset. She asked about the berries —What are they for? What do they look like? Why are they berries? She asked me to¬†peel the berries and I did so¬†meticulously, as they were about the size of a very small pea. “Open it, mama. Open it!” A rough outer layer when peeled away revealed a lighter, nut-like inner.

We found a few berries still attached to tiny branches.

Searching for the berries became the focus of the playground visit.

I explained that birds eat the berries but that humans do not. She proceeded to collect and lay out the berries for the birds to come and eat. This was similar to the activity we had started at home when the oak tree dropped its nuts in the front yard. In that case, however, the nuts were for the squirrels.

She has learned that she is giving a gift to the animals and that they will thank her in return. “The birdies say tank you. Tank you, WuaCwaire….Tank you for de berrieessss….”‘

I love it.

Searching for berries in the playground sand.

Delicately placing the berries on the railroad tie for the birds to come and get.

The berries all laid out for the birds.