Welcome to the first ever something for the weekend #sftw. A regular series which I hope inspired you to make, so, see, cook and just generally enjoy family time at the weekend. The idea is to provide simple activities that can fit into family weekend.
This weekend is RSPB Big Garden birdwatch, so I thought I would so a something for the week with this in mind. The birdwatch only takes an hour of your time and is a great way to introduce different birds to your children. You can print out a checklist (or use their online tool on your tablet, desktop of mobile phone) from the RSPB website and they also have information of what to do to attract the birds to your garden. If you want more bird based activities, they also have some great family fun activities on their web site. Alternatively you can find a super free bird watching printable book here at Buggy and Buddy.
When I was decluttering my kitchen this week, I am ashamed to say I come across a rather large amount of very out of date nuts and seeds, so rather than throw them away we decided to make bird feeders with them.
- Bird seed or nuts and seeds
- Lard or solid vegetable fat if you are vegetarian.
- Yoghurt posts or other pot (we used jelly jars)
- Cookie cutters
- Greaseproof paper.
- Pop your block of lard in a large heatproof bowl and place over a pan filled with simmering water. The aim is to softener not melt the lard. If you are doing this with small children you can do this by vigorously beating the lard with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the bird seed
- lay your cookie cutters out on wax paper and fill half way with the birdseed mixture.
- Cut your twine, knot the end and push the knot down into your birdseed.
- Continue to fill the rest of the cookie cutter with birdseed, covering the end of your twine and knot.
- press down on the birdseed so it is compact.
- Allow them to dry overnight and then remove from the cookie cutters and hang them
We also made some in pots, which do not have very well as they are rather large and heavy, put they are perfect for popping on top of bird feeders. Another way to do this is to use pine cones. just mix the lard with seeds and oats with your hands – lovely messy fun and swish it into the pine cones. Then refrigerate and hang. You really can just use what you have in. No seed or lard, then do not despair you can use peanut butter and loo roll to make bird feeders! . Or if you have some cheerios, then try these fab cheerio bird feeders from Happy Hooligans.
Books about birds
I hope you like this and would love any feedback you can give me. If you are looking for other bird crafts you could always make bird cards, handprint duck, foam birds with feathers or these fab play dough feathered birds. I adore this fab creative writing ideas from Nurturestore. Buggy and Buddy has a great roundup post all about learning about birds.