We are having our coldest temperatures of the winter this month. Unfortunately, the unusual winter has brought back many of our birds who may be having a hard time finding food and staying warm.
I thought, why not provide food for the birds and a craft for my granddaughter at the same time. I set the table with the necessary supplies for her to find.
- empty toilet paper tubes
- jar of natural peanut butter, this works as both glue for seed and fat the birds need in the cold
- knife to spread the peanut butter
- a cup of birdseed
- a tray to work on
She saw the table set and I asked if she would like to help me to feed the birds. She ran to the table and asked what to do first.
It’s a simple craft even the youngest of children can do. My year old grandson even helped and was quite good at rolling the tube in the seed. Simply spread the peanut butter on the empty tube then roll the tube in birdseed. You can either slip the roll over a tree branch or hang it using twine or yarn.
We made three that day, one to hang outside my house and two for her to take home. Her mother helped her to hang one outside the dining room window and one in the back yard visible from the kitchen window.
The next day I received a phone call from my granddaughter excited to tell me she had been watching the birds eating from her bird feeder and wanting to know if my birds were eating theirs. While you may not think this is a big deal I should tell you this is a child who refuses to talk on the phone. No amount of begging, bargaining or bribing will get her to talk on the phone, nor will she come to the phone to Skype.
When her bird feeders were empty, one disappeared we believe it could have been squirrels, I asked around and was given paper towel tubes to make new ones. Mom says both the children sit better and longer at the table at meal time because they are also watching the birds while they eat.
Now that mom has seen how excited her children get watching the birds, and to save the bird feeders from the squirrels, she bought and hung a squirrel feeder. The next day a squirrel climbed up on the window ledge and watched the family eat dinner. Mom was a bit freaked out but the children squealed with excitement.
Introducing nature to children at a young age is how we teach them to treat the outside world with love and respect.