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We've Got Hawk Eyes

The great outdoors has been providing our family much pleasure these days. Marcy and I are quite thankful to have children at home that love being outside, and the teachers in us can't miss a teachable moment even in our own backyards. We are kicking off a week of wilderness fun around here, in hopes that it motivates all of us to "get out there!" We are happy campers because our Lil Sprouts event this coming weekend is even a camping theme!

While relishing in the outdoors, we have noticed a beautiful hawk that calls our yard home. We thoroughly enjoy watching his flying and feeding habits. My son is very interested in this large bird that frequently stands guard of the yard from a top of his swing set. A hawk is a type of raptor, or bird of prey, and seems to spot a meal with the slightest bit of effort. His habits got me curious and I started reading a little more about hawks. Little did I know that their eyesight is eight to 10 times sharper than the those of us that brag about 20/20 vision. I learned that hawks have front facing eyes that act like binoculars. They can see their prey up to a mile away. How cool is that? It's not that our neighborly hawk doesn't use effort, he instead is full of skill!

Since we've been spending so much time in the backyard, I thought a perfect Mommy and Me project would be to make our own binoculars. This way little ones can see first hand what it is like to redirect and refocus your vision.

What you'll need to make your own binoculars:

2 toilet paper rolls or a paper towel roll cut in half.
a piece of felt (I used two different colors so I had two sheets)
glue (I used Elmer's and hot glue)

Simply wrap each of the rolls with felt. Elmer's glue works just fine to adhere to the rolls. I cut two thin strips of felt to use to hold the two individual rolls together. To hold the rolls together for the long haul (all good bird watchers need a sturdy pair of binoculars!) I used hot glue. **Disclaimer: I can't stand hot glue, and even tried to not use it on this project, however I think it will make the binoculars hold up longer. While I was gluing the thin strips of felt I tucked the two ends of a piece of string in there so that my mini bird watcher could wear them around his neck.

We sat in the yard and used the binoculars to look at things far away and things right around our feet. This lead to a little walking field trip of the yard. My little explorer was soon using his binoculars to look at flowers, bugs, and finally our friend the hawk showed up!

Keep a close eye on our camping and outdoor adventures this week at Simply Sprout! It will be s'more fun than you can imagine!

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