This three-step project lets kids feed their backyard birds and create fun outdoor hanging decorations at the same time. Pick up some bird seeds at the hardware store and let the kiddos pick their favorite shapes. Even if you live in an urban area, you may be surprised at what little birdies will be attracted to your feeder hung prettily in your window.
Supplies you’ll need for this project: 1 package unflavored gelatin; 3 T corn syrup; 3/4 cup flour; and 4 cups bird seed. Plus, cookie cutters, plastic straws cut into 3”-4” pieces, and pretty string for hanging.
- Mix 1 package of unflavored gelatin with 1/2 cup of warm water and stir until it's a paste. Add 3 tablespoons of corn syrup and 3/4 cup of flour and mix until all the lumps are gone. Then add in 4 cups of bird seed and stir it thoroughly.
- Now comes some sticky fun. Line a tray with waxed or parchment paper, and lay out 5-6 cookie cutters. Scoop out handfuls of the seed mixture and press into the cookie cutters, filling to the edges. Take a straw piece and poke it through the seeds, leaving some border between the straw and the edge, as this is where the string to hang it will go. (Leave the straw in as the mixture dries.)
- Let the mixture harden in the air overnight, and in the morning, carefully push out of the cookie cutters (remembering to keep little fingers away from the sharp edges). Remove the straw, tie a loop of string through the hole, hang the treats outside a window for your birds, and wait for them to come find their feast.
If you or your kids have ever worried that if you start feeding birds they could become too dependent on you for their food, don't. A naturalist friend of ours told us that while bird feeders can be a reliable source of food, they are never the sole source. If birdseed is not available, birds will search elsewhere for food. In fact, feeders are likely no more than 20% of their diets. Happy birding!
If you try this project, share it on Facebook or Instagram and tag @mommypoppins so we can see your creations too!
Find more fun things to do in Boredom Busters Activities Guide.