Birdwatching Station

January 6, 2010

Bird Watching Station

It never ceases to amaze me—the impact that the environment can make on the way children engage with the world.

Early one morning, I put together some of our new holiday gifts with our favorite birdwatching tools, to create a bird watching station. With freshly filled bird feeders outside and a cozy space inside, the girls woke-up and enjoyed a morning filled with observing and identifying our backyard feathered friends.

My favorite part was that I did not have to say anything to initiate the experience. The space was the provocation and was what inspired the girls to engage in the activity. They entered into it on their own terms and utilized the materials according to their own needs.

It was wonderful to witness their self-directed enthusiasm unfold…



Mariah Bruehl is a parent, educator, and author of the book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder (Shambhala Publications, 2011). In 2008 Mariah brought her expertise online, creating the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal award-winning Web site Playful Learning. In 2011 she launched the Playful Learning Ecademy, which takes virtual-learning experiences to a new level by incorporating the best practices in education with engaging hands-on lessons, bringing parents and children together from all over the world into a unique, creative, community environment.


  1. Cristina Phillips said on May 30, 2012 #

    I always go back to this post. I love the simplicity of it. I was so inspired that I added a similar station to the dining area of our home. It is on the side of our house where there is not much traffic. We purchased a humming bird feeder and plan on adding more to encourage birds to come to that part of our house so little eyes can spy on them. Should be fun! Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Kavita said on May 9, 2013 #

    Beautiful corner. What books did you put in the basket? I have a seven year old and two year old and helpful suggestion on books set out would be appreciated. Thanks

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