Written by contributor Melissa Allen of Green Owl Art
Teaching children to love and respect all living things will result in more compassionate men and women.
I believe this with all my heart. As a child, my mom would allow us to bring home any stray animal we came across. She helped me to bottle-feed ten tiny rat babies when my pet rat Samantha unexpectedly became a mother. She has taught me responsibility and love for each living creature that came our way.
I hope to pass this on to my children. I hope that they will stop for a lost dog, adopt a stray kitten or cry like I do every time that Sarah McLachlan animal cruelty commercial comes on. Being taught this kind of love as a child not only made me the person I am today, but extends to the kind of mother I have become.
You do not need to have a house full of orphan dogs to get this point across.
Something I like to do with each season changing is an offering for animals around us. Last winter, we left nuts and seeds out for the squirrels to collect. The year before we made a warm bed on our porch for a neighborhood cat. This spring, we made a nest helper to help the birds collect for their homes and to also encourage nests to be built close to our home. This way we will also benefit from being able to watch these beautiful birds in action.
Tips for making a bird nest helper:
- Use a mess bag, berry basket or use floral wire to make your own hanging ball.
- Fill it with nesting materials like yarn, string, dried twigs and grass, fabric scraps and even hair. Have your children go on a hunt for these items and then fill your nest helper with all the findings.
- Hang your bird nest helper from a tree close by a window where you will be able to watch as the birds shop your nesting goods.
Bonus: these look really beautiful hung in the trees and you may spot your offerings in the nests throughout your neighborhood.
For more inspiring crafts from Melissa, head on over to Green Owl Art.