Sometimes you just want a quickie activity to entertain your little one before heading out for the day. I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for ideas that involve more nature and less screen time. And if it can be educational/useful/environmentally-friendly…all the better, right? Sometimes we try out our own original ideas, and other times we glean from others (usually after a night of Pinterest research…). But sometimes, the classic stand-bys are just as fun, if not more so!
A few weeks ago my hubby celebrated his birthday, and one of the more thoughtful gifts that he received had a bird theme – a birdhouse building kit for he and C to work on together, as well as supplies to fill our entire yard with pinecone feeders. The boys finished the birdhouse the very next day, but we saved the pinecone feeders until later. With all of the snow we’ve been uncharacteristically having of late, we thought our feathery (and furry) backyard friends looked a little more hungry than usual, so it seemed like the perfect time to break out the pine cones and peanut butter in the extra time we ended up with before one of my prenatal appointments.
It was the perfect quickie craft – including set-up and clean-up it took around 30 minutes. We could have made it longer or shorter by making more or fewer pinecones. In case you are from another planet and have never ever seen these done, here’s all you do:
1. Gather supplies – pinecones, peanut butter, birdseed, yarn (or something similar), knife
2. Tie off the top of the pinecone with yarn so that it dangles.
3. Spread peanut butter onto pinecone. (About half of the peanut butter that was on the knife usually ended up in C’s mouth…)
4. Roll and pat your freshly buttered cone into a plate of birdseed, until all of the peanut buttery parts are covered.
5. Go outside and find a branch to hang it on, preferably in view of a window.
6. Come back later to see who’s coming for dinner!
C can be an avid birdwatcher when there’s a lot of action outside at the feeder, so this is not the first “feather-friendly” project we’ve done, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Here’s a list of some other “seedy” ideas that are quick and easy to make using materials you probably already have lying around your house…