Christmas Bird Feeders

Those regularly reading will know that I made our children an activity based advent calendar this year. So far it has been great fun and yesterday’s activity was to make Christmas Bird Feeders. Before you read on I must stress that it was absolutely amazing to make this activity – the execution of it was, however, slightly disastrous!

First the positives – apart from being quick and simple, it is a lovely way to involve the children in a bit of nature and to have a chance to talk to them about the outdoors and also for them to be able to see the instant benefits of something they do.

As for ingredients, I figured lard and seeds would do the trick…well….hrhm….partly true is all I can say. Here is what we did – the children absolutely loved this by the way with my eldest claiming it is the best activity yet. That comment,  for it being a non-edible activity, is quite a statement!!

  • Melt a square or two of lard in a saucepan (one will make about 6 large-ish shapes)

  • In a bowl, add bird seeds (buy in any large supermarket or pet shop) and pour lard over the top. Let the children stir. It is fine for it to be a little wet as it quickly sets when it cools.

  • Lay a piece of baking parchment on the table and pick a cookie cutter shape (Christmas shapes of course! Stars, Santa, Candy Cane, Reindeer) to lay on top of the parchment
  • Fill the shape half way with seed/lard mixture. Lay string into the mix and fill over the top – this to have something to hang the feeder with

  • Leave cold to set – I left ours outside, covered, over night
  • When set, press out and hang from a tree in your garden (or sit them on branches as I did with some of the heavier ones)!

  • Enjoy watching the birds flock in!

PS – it was the pressing out bit that completely did not work for me! Some of our shapes had quite intricate designs  – snowflake – and the smaller bits simply broke and dissolved! The lard was too soft on its own – maybe it should have been a mix of peanut butter and lard…Do not have the answer I am afraid! I recommend using big shapes – stars for example – as they yield lovely results!

We had a fantastic time making them, and every age group could complete it on their own! The feeders are hanging and attracting birds which is also great! So not a complete disaster…simply not as straight forward as I thought!! 🙂

I had seen a blog on this – and I wanted to credit the blogger – but I have searched all morning for the post and simply cannot find it! So if you have seen one, then that is probably where I was inspired! 🙂