We had a bird themed day yesterday. Both the Wee One and I enjoy watching the birds outside our window and out in nature when we go on walks, so we decided to make them a special winter treat. There are lots of birdseed ornament “recipes” out there, but we made up our own based off of this one.
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 3 tbsp corn syrup
- 3-4 cups birdseed
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries
Stir together the flour, water, gelatin, and syrup. Then stir in the peanut butter, birdseed, and cranberries. It says a range for the birdseed and cranberries because if there’s too many dry ingredients, the ornaments won’t stick together, so see what works as you are stirring.
Then choose a couple cookie cutters (we used a circle and a heart) and spray them with nonstick spray. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, and put your cookie cutter on it. Lightly spray your fingers with nonstick spray, too. Then start pushing the birdseed mixture into a cookie cutter, packing it in firmly. Be sure to poke a hole in the top so you can hang it after it hardens. We used a chopstick for this. Spray the cookie cutters every ornament or two. Let the birdseed ornaments sit overnight to harden.
Then put a string through the top and hang them outside for the birds (and squirrels, if we’re honest).
This is a great project for little ones and also lets you have all sorts of fun winter conversations about things like hibernation and migration.
To keep going with our winter bird theme, I found this cute free printable online. We printed the cardinal onto construction paper, then the Wee One used watercolors to paint it. When it was dry, we cut it out, glued it together, and punched a hole to hang it from. Now it is hung up on our front door, looking very cheerful. You could do a similar project with birds (or animals) for each season. Here in Upstate NY, cardinals are one of the few birds we see in the winter.
To finish it off, we filled up the new bird feeder my wonderful Gram gave us for Christmas! (We do still need to actually put it outside, though.)
We checked out the Barnes & Noble story hour this morning, and as luck would have it, they did a bird craft after the stories! The Wee One colored and then glittered this picture, which he wants to hang in his room.