Thursday, December 22, 2011

Presents for our Woodland Friends

Recently, we had a very special event with our friends.  The kids spent time making their own presents for woodland animals.  We arranged for a forest play and we decorated a couple of trees for the birds and animals of the forest!

Here's what Butterfly and I worked on leading up to the event.
First we gathered all our materials on to the table.

We started off with this bird seed recipe which contains corn syrup, flour, and water to hold bird seed in cookie cutter shapes.

After mixing it up, we pressed the birdseed mixture into the cookie cutters,

and used a straw to make a hole in the shape for a string.

We also formed balls around a piece of twine for hanging.
We let the shapes dry and get hard, pop them out of the cutters and then put a piece of thread in all of them for hanging.

Next we covered pine cones in peanut butter,

and then bird seed.  I tied some twine string around each to be able to hang them on the trees.  After these are eaten, the birds will love the twine for their nests!  We had to remember that whatever we used it was biodegradable and nature friendly.

I gathered some nuts and dried fruits and mixed them with sticky corn syrup and peanut butter.

We then moved our projects out to the garage as I discovered bird seed and nuts all over my kitchen floor, hehe.  So here is Butterfly stirring up the latest nut, seed, dried fruit mixture on the garage floor.

We formed them into sticky balls with twine in the middle.  Some held their shape and some balls fell apart.  The ones that fell apart, we just sprinkled the mixture all over the ground for the animals.

I then brought out two of these wooden shells from our Nature Table stash and filled them with the same sticky snack and tied twine to them for hanging.

We did the same thing with hollowed out orange halves.

Next was our popcorn and fresh cranberry strings.  We had fun doing these last year , and I recently learned that the best way to string the popcorn without pieces falling apart, was to let the popcorn sit for a day to get a bit stale and then it was easier to string as it stayed together more than being freshly popped.

These were our finished strings, including an all cranberry string as well.

So we packed up all our homemade treats for the animals and trekked out to the forest with our group of friends!  We found two great Christmas trees to decorate for the animals!

All the kids started decorating them with their homemade gifts to the animals.

It was beautiful to see!

The chickadee birds came in troops! They were feasting right away!

Butterfly watched and loved the fact that she made so many birds happy!

So pretty.  There is always a calm and a contentment that comes over me when we just go back to Nature.

Chickadees in the trees, enjoying their buffet!

All the kids gathered for a picture, after they had a play in the forest.

The best part:  Feeding chickadees out of our hands with left over seeds!

It was a great day!

We hope to attend weekend hikes with our friends more regularly, plus we've started Forest School with a homeschooling group weekly.  It's great to get outside and get back to nature!


  1. This looks so great. Since we don't have family here with us his Christmas I think we will spend some of the holidays giving gifts to the birds. Thanks for the post.

  2. This is fabulous I love the variety and the idea of doing it as a group. I'm going to pin it for an advent activity next christmas in our own garden and also add it to my roundup of winter animals activities.

  3. Thank you for all the great ideas. That was a beautiful thing for thr birds and the kids look like they had a lot of fun.

  4. How long did it take for the birdseed recipe to harden in the cookie cutter shapes? Thinking of doing this with my Daisy Troop, but we only have about an hour....


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