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Activity

Wild Bird Seed Ornaments

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Instructions

Ready to get started with this activity? To keep track of your progress, check off the instructions for each step below as they are completed. Make sure to check the box of the last step when you’re done to receive congratulations for your completed activity!

Consider this:

Most of the time, birds do not need our help to find food sources. Yet it’s exciting to see the bird flit around the yard! More than 59 million Americans feed birds, a tradition that’s lasted more than 100 years. If you’d like to participate, it is best to make environmentally-friendly feeders. It is also important to think about when to put food out. In late winter or early spring, natural seed sources are depleted. This makes it the perfect time to feed the birds and help give them energy.

  • 2.5 cups birdseed
  • (2 – 4) packages of unflavored gelatin
  • (2) tablespoons corn syrup
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • A variety of cookie cutters
  • (3) drinking straws
  • Twine
  • Parchment paper
  • Follow the instructions on the packet of gelatin.
  • Use two packets of gelatin.
  • Put ½ cup cold water in a bowl.
  • Pour the two packets on top of the water.
  • With the help of an adult pour ½ cup boiling water into the cold water mix.
  • Stir until dissolved.
  • Once the gelatin is dissolved add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup to the water mixture – stir well.
  • Add 2 ½ cups of birdseed to the water mixture – mix well.
  • Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to firm the liquid up.
  • Careful with this step. We don’t want it to leak but it cannot be too firm.
  • If the mix is too firm and breaks, quickly microwave the whole bowl to melt it.
  • If the mix is too wet, add in one more packet and stir. Repeat if needed.
  • Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
  • Place cookie cutters on the lined cookie sheet.
  • Once the seed mix is firm, spoon the birdseed into the cookie cutters.
  • Press the seed mixture firmly into the cookie cutters to fill in all gaps.
  • Cut the drinking straws into 2-inch-long pieces.
  • Press the straw piece into each of the shapes, leaving at least ½” of space between the hole and the edge of the shape.
  • Place the cookie sheet with filled cookie cutters into the refrigerator overnight.
  • When it is time, gently remove the cookie cutters by pulling the metal away from the edges on all sides. Then gently push the birdseed ornaments out.
  • Carefully pull the straw pieces out.
  • Thread a piece of twine through the hole and tie the ends into a knot.
  • Hang the birdseed ornaments from tree branches for the birds to enjoy.
  • Birds eat twice their weight in food each day.
  • It is okay to feed birds all year long, because their needs change each season.
  • Why would a bird need more food in winter?
  • In the spring, birds migrate, or make nests and raise babies. Would they need more food then?
  • Birds only get about 25% of their food from feeders. The rest comes from the wild.

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