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MIsprouts Learn: What Is Biodiversity?

Written by – Kaitlynn from MIgardener

My goal with this series is to make accessible material for parents who want to teach their kids about gardening from the ground up. These guides will consist of a short reading section about a gardening subject, followed by ideas for projects and experiments that can be performed at home to make the concepts more concrete for the kiddos! I hope they can be a source of fun for you and your family.  

Read aloud: Did you know that the differences between the plants, animals, and bugs in your garden can make it healthier? Scientists call this biodiversity. Biodiversity happens when lots of different types of plants, lots of different bugs, and lots of different animals live in your garden. Biodiversity makes things more exciting by growing more food for you to eat! Today, we are going to learn about how to add more biodiversity to your garden!

Three ways to add biodiversity:

1. Bugs

In the garden, some bugs can be harmful, but most of them are helpful! Some of the good bugs eat the bad ones that are trying to hurt the plants. We call bad bugs pests and good bugs beneficial insects. A few examples of beneficial insects are ladybugs, ground beetles, praying mantis, and many more. Planting flowers and mulching the ground are a few ways to attract and protect beneficial bugs.

biodiversity bugs

 

2. Birds

Birds play an important part in keeping bad bugs out of the garden. Especially major pests like tomato worms. Adding a birdbath and bird feeders to your garden will keep lots of different kinds of birds visiting your garden. Without birds, there would be too many bugs in the garden, so much that most plants wouldn’t be able to grow! You can make a project out of this and create a bird watching chart to learn about the birds that visit your garden.

 

3. Plants

Did you know that there are almost 15,000 different kinds of tomatoes in the world? There are so many beautiful options to choose from when it comes to fruits and vegetables! The more variation we have in the colors and flavors in our garden, the more exciting gardening can be! Try planting purple carrots, pink beans, or bright blue popcorn. If we only planted one kind of vegetable in our gardens, it would be kind of boring. Plus, it would be a lot easier for pests to find the vegetables without the protection of others.

biodiversity

 

Project: Add Biodiversity with Bird Feeders!

biodiversity project

You’ll Need:

2 envelopes of gelatine

2 cups of water

3 cups birdseed

cookie cutters

string

parchment paper-lined baking sheet

toothpicks

In order to increase biodiversity in your garden, backyard, or kitchen window, this project will help you make bird feeders! Mix the birdseed mixture together by following this recipe. Press mixture into the cookie cutter and let dry. Tie the string into the molded feeder and have your little one find a place for it in the garden or outside the window. More application projects can be found below for more projects specifically about biodiversity.

This is an easy hands-on project for any age group. For more options for crafts and experiments for this lesson, follow our MIsprouts Pinterest page.

Projects recommended for:

All Ages: Backyard Biodiversity Chart | Scavenger Hunt Project

I hope this post was helpful! Please leave me some feedback in the comments on Facebook to let me know if any changes can be made to posts like these in the future!

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Main sources:

Crash Course Kids

Ted Ed

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