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Friday, March 21, 2014

Pine cone bird feeders


Dylan, Jake and Emma go to school 3 days a week and on their campus they have these beautiful Pine trees we walk through every afternoon on the way to the car.  It has become a tradition that every day when we leave they each go and find a pine cone to take home. After a few weeks these pine cones have started to pile up so I needed to find something to do with them. I decided to turn them into bird feeders. What a great spring project!

 These were easy for the kids to make independently and the only thing I had to buy was the bird seed, which I found at target for only a few dollars.

 Here's what you need:

 - Big pine cones (ones that have opened up more will work better)

 - Peanut butter (use sun butter for nut allergies)

 - Bird seed (bought generic wild bird seed at target)

 - Plastic knife (optional)

 - Paper plate

 - String

 I let Dylan, Jake and Emma each pick out one of their pine cones from their huge pile and then I scooped out a big scoop of peanut butter and put it on their paper plate. I gave them a plastic knife and told them to use it to cover the whole pine cone completely. (For younger kids, you could skip the knife step and have them use their hands!)



 Once their cones were smothered with peanut butter I wiped their hands off (so the seeds wouldn't stick to their hands) and then poured the bird seed onto the plate. I told them to roll the pine cone in the bird seed making sure that the whole pine cone was covered so that birds would have lots of food to eat!  They loved this!



 Now that the cones were covered we let them rest on the counter for a few minutes and they ran outside to see which tree they wanted to hang their bird feeder in. When we came back in I used some twine and tied it around each pine cone. Then we brought the bird feeders excitedly outside to hang in the trees.  They each picked a different tree that we could see from our kitchen table.  We hoped birds would come soon to enjoy the delicious bird feeders we created for them! 

The finished product!

 To be honest, I wasn't sure if these we're going to work, but the next morning imagine my surprise when birds started landing on the pine cone bird feeders and eating away!  The kids were squealing with delight. The joy in their faces as they saw the birds enjoying their hard work was priceless. Every morning we look to see how many birds are coming to eat from our bird feeders and it's a highlight to our day. I definitely recommend doing this fun and earth friendly activity with your kids!


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