Make some binoculars.

The birds are coming back to the trees behind our house, singing every morning. We've been pulling up the shades to see what we can see. These homemade binoculars worked like a charm on Norah for about a year, from age 3 1/2 to 4 1/2. She even took them to Cabella's a few times to look at all their exhibits of stuffed animals in their natural habitats.

But, now Norah wants to have a "not pretend" set and I have to share mine much more than I want to. But, she'll have to wait and I will have to share at least a little longer before she gets a set of her own. If you have a little one, who is little enough, he or she may like to have a set of binoculars to use on nature walks this spring.

To make these binoculars, take two toilet paper rolls, glue them together and fasten them with clothes pins until they dry together securely. Punch holes in them and tie a long piece of yarn on, so little ones can wear them draped around their necks. Let them decorate their binoculars as they choose. Norah used crayons and put little circle stickers on hers. "These are the buttons," she says and presses the stickers to make the binoculars "focus."