It is that time of year that kids (and adults) are growing tired of inside activities and ready to get out into the fresh air. This craft is done inside but ends up outside so it will help you look forward to spring. Do you know the birds that spend their winters in Canada? Studies have shown that wild birds that have access to extra food sources will fare better through the winter than those without. There are a number of species that live in Canada year round. Check out a couple of online resources where you’ll learn about the birds that can be seen during our Canadian winters from Bird Canada and the top 10 list from Earth Rangers. Take some time to read about these birds with your child and then make some bird seed ornaments to feed those cute little birdies.
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup birdseed
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Cookie cutters
- Straw or skewer
- Ribbon or twine
- Measure coconut oil into a saucepan and melt on low.
- Add birdseed and mix well.
- Place cookie cutters on a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Fill cookie cutters with the bird seed mixture and press down well with the back of the spoon or your fingers.
- Using a straw or skewer, poke a hole in the top of each ornament. (Not too close to the top. Make sure there is enough of the mixture around the hole so it stays together.)
- Chill in the refrigerator until the ornaments harden.
- Carefully remove the cookie cutters from the birdseed mixture.
- Insert a piece of ribbon or twine through the hole and tie to create a loop.
- Go outside and hang your ornaments.
- Wait for the birds to arrive!
If you are wondering what is best to feed the birds, it really does depend on what birds are in your area. However, high fat is helpful to all birds (hence the coconut oil) to help them move regularly to stay warm and manage the cold.
A fun picture book to read to your kids while waiting for the birdseed ornaments to harden is Night Tree by Eve Bunting. While technically a Christmas book, this is a sweet story that ties in well with this project. In this story, a family goes out into the woods to decorate a tree with all edible ornaments like popcorn, apples, tangerines, and a sunflower seed ball as a gift for the animals living there. This is a nice way to remind our children that many animals in the wild rely on nature for their livelihood.
This article has been written by homeschooling staff writers of The Canadian Schoolhouse (TCS). Enjoy more of our content from TCS contributors and staff writers by visiting our Front Door page that has content on our monthly theme and links to all our content sections.