How to Make Your Own Pinecone Bird Feeder

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Every now and then I remember to do something crafty with the kids, just to feel virtuous once every few months and not too neglectful lol! This one is easy to do and good for nature too 🙂 I remember seeing this years ago on a children’s TV show – you need very few ingredients and the kids love it – good messy fun and caring for animals.

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If you are allergic to peanuts this is not the activity for you as peanut butter is the main ingredient however you can use lard), or if you are adverse to mess or gooey sticky hands again steer clear from this one! 😉

What you will need:

Peanut Butter (or lard)
Wild Bird Seed (I got this from Bin Inn $3 for a big bag)
Plates, Scissors, Spoon

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Chose a pinecone that has good openings in the body so you can smoosh lots of peanut butter amongst the gaps.

Tie a string securely around the stem of the pinecone – or if no stem – around the top openings.

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Spread 1/2 to 1 cup of peanut butter onto a plate and half a cup to a cup of birdseed onto another plate, depending on how many you are making.

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Roll the pinecone in the peanut butter, using your hands to smoosh the peanut butter in the openings.

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Transfer the pinecone to the birdseed and roll around until completely covered in birdseed.

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Then ask the kids to put their hands in the air, touch nothing and make their way to the bathroom for a full de-peanutbuttering of their hands! 😉

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Find a suitable tree and securely tie the pinecone to the tree – choose somewhere the birds often like to come and ensure that you keep any cats away if you want the birds to survive their dinner!

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Then sit back and watch! Depending on the season it may take some time for the birds to come but this is a lovely treat for them during Autumn and Winter.

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Thanks for checking out this easy kids activity, let me know if you try it and see if you can get a photo of a bird having a snack – we will keep an eye out on ours for the next few days too.

Bird on the Birdfeeder!

Finally got a picture of a wee bird enjoying the pinecone – not clear but you get the idea! 🙂

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Hug your kids today.

Anna 🙂

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Salt Dough Volcano – Sciencey Fun

salt dough volcano 7My son’s homework assignment this week was to do a volcano experiment so while a friend was here we decided to give it a go. The boys wanted to use salt dough instead of playdough and if we had thought of it a few days ago we could have baked it or let it airdry. It takes several days to airdry or alternatively you bake the dough at a low temperature in the oven for several hours until fully dry and hard.

The fun with not letting it dry was they could then decorate it – with some stones, grass and ‘trees’ so it looked like a real mountain.

Ingredients for Salt Dough

1 Cup Salt
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Water

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, when it starts to just combine tip it onto the bench and knead it well until it begins to blend together and resemble a soft pliable dough.

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Using a plastic mat or tray we used a small amount of the dough to hold a plastic cup in place then we moulded the dough around the outside of the cup to look volcano like!

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The boys then raided the garden for the decorations.

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Then it was time to take it outside and get ready for the lava!

Lava Ingredients

Baking Soda
White or Malt Vinegar
Red Food Colouring

Add two Tablespoons of baking soda to the cup, then after combining white vinegar with red food colouring gently pour the vinegar into the cup – stop once the lava begins to flow out the top – and sit back and watch – it happens pretty quickly!

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Of course the boys wanted to do it again and again so we ended up using malt vinegar and this made quite a different slower reaction with the baking soda. We simply added a teaspoon or so more baking soda each time and again gently pour in the vinegar.

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So much fun, yes its messy and the dough is ruined but the fun they had was worth it!

I recommend if you have the time making the salt dough a few days out and mould around an old cup that is suitable for baking. Then you can paint the volcano appropriate colours and if you have some use lacquer to seal the volcano so you can use it again and again.

A week or so ago we did this but without the salt dough volcano and it was just as much fun! All you need is a suitable container for the ‘volcano’ and a lid or tray to catch the lava. Easy!

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Have Fun! 🙂