Birdwatching with preschoolers is such a delight! Inside or out, they have such a great time learning new things about birds. Putting out a feeder near your breakfast window is a great way to enjoy watching birds in the morning. When you go for nature walks, remember your binoculars! And try keeping a sheet with the most common birds from your feeder and mark how many times each week you see them to see if there is a pattern (sneaking in math for your preschooler)!
We have several wonderful books that help us enjoy and identify local birds. Some of the titles include Birds at My Feeder by Glen Loates, Why do Birds Fly South?by Weekly Reader Books, and Birds of Prey by Kate Perry.
Having a great field guide is also a must. We like Audubon First Field Guide Birds. We also found a great app, iBird Yard+ Guide to Birds. It has pictures, calls, and basic information.
If you want to try this fun bird seed cake/ornament craft to have your own feeder or to give to your bird watcher, here is how.
What you’ll need:
- 3 TBS flour
- 1 envelope of plain gelatin, like Knox brand
- 3 TBS cornsyrup
- 1/2 cup really hot water
- 4 cups of birdseed mix, you can even mix different kinds as long as there are 4 cups
- several cookie cutters at leasy 3/4 inch deep
- parchment paper, non stick spray and a wire rack
Put your flour, gelatin, corn syrup and water into a bowl and whisk until it is smooth and the gelatin has all melted. Add the birdseed and stir with a spatula until it is all thoroughly coated. Scoop out the birdseed mixture into your non stick sprayed cookie cutters and press down to make sure it is all compacted together nicely. If you want to make hanging seed cakes with a hole to thread something through, make the hole now. Use a skewer or straw and make sure the hole goes all the way through. (You can wrap your twine or yarn around the hardened cake if you prefer to hang it that way.)
Now leave them for 4-6 hours or overnight to harden. Test one and if is seems to squishy, leave it for another few hours. Remove the cookie cutters and peel the cakes off the parchment and place them with the sticky side up on wire racks to finish hardening for another 6 to 8 hours.
Ta Da! Now you have fun shaped cakes for all your feathered friends. If you want to hang them, use twine or yarn, never plastic, and either lace it thorough the hole you made or wrap it around your seed cake. When all the seed is gone the birds can use the twine in their nest. Enjoy your adventures!
I’m Lara, a sinner saved by grace, wife and help-meet to my best friend, John, and homeschooling mama to two bouncing (literally) boys, Teddy and Frederick. Hot tea, good conversations and dark chocolate are some of my favorite things. Grab your favorite mug and join us on our adventures at Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace!