Saturday, June 23, 2012

Feed the Birds

*This post was originally posted by me on my older blog, but I liked the activity, so I'm re-posting it to my new blog...enjoy!*

One of my children's most requested bed time songs is "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins.  I love to sing it to them because I want to instill in my children a sense of caring for the world around us and the creatures that share the world with us.  Our little feathered friends are easy to help care for and a great way to teach a lesson of taking care of what God has given us.  There are several easy-to-make bird feeder ideas in the internet world, and I'm going to share just a few. 

A very simple and "green" bird feeder idea is to simply find a pine cone, tie some yarn at the top, making sure you have enough to hang from a branch, and cover it with peanut butter.  You can add lard or cornmeal to the peanut butter to help it go down easier, but there is no evidence to suggest that peanut butter can choke a bird.  For an added treat, you can sprinkle birdseed on the peanut butter and pat it down lightly to make sure it sticks. 

Another simple idea is to take yarn and thread it with Cheerios or other cereal that is round with a hole in the center, make a loop, then hang it from a branch.  This is great for small children because you can do counting lessons, or take the colorful cereal and practice with patterns.   If the little birds prefer, you can cover the cereal with peanut butter, and for an extra treat, sprinkle with bird seed.  With this idea, or any of the other ones, you can also keep watch of what kind of birds come to visit your little cafe.  Take pictures or keep a sketch book and then look them up on the internet to find out more about your wild neighbors.  You can also keep track of what time of day the birds visit, how long your particular feeder lasts before you have to create another one, and so on.  The educational lessons are almost endless.

As a fun Christmas idea, take your (real) Christmas tree outside when you are finished, and adorn it with the above ideas until you just absolutely have to get rid of it.  Popcorn is also a safe treat for birds and would look so cute.  What a great idea to get a little extra use out of those trees!

For other ideas, just search the net.  There are several ideas as well as food options for our little friends.  Have fun and feed the birds!! 

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