as winter has for surely moved in, in these past weeks, i’m sure lots of us mothers have thought about what to do with the littles ones on those cold snowy days except going sleighing or skiing. and i’m sure, i’m not the only one that thought about making little birdfeeders with the girls. i can’t count the number of winterbooks where the topic of thinking and taking care of the animals in the woods and the birds is mentioned. well, we’ve got lots of them. and i’m glad that through this way our children learn to care for others as well.christian built a bigger birdfeeder with the girls last winter and that’s when we started the whole birdfeeding thing.but this time, we wanted to bring something for the birds that live close to our little woods. i guess 2 old winter children books that i once read, were big influencers on that (Ingeborg Meyer-Rey: Die gestohlene Nase, Fred Rodrian: Hirsch Heinrich). I quickly ‘pinterested’ on how to do little birdfeeders, that we could hang on the trees and i found the ideas of:
- the apples, that are filled with birdseeds and i found the idea of
- making birdfeed with cookie cutters.
all you need is:
- apples, birdfeed, coconut oil (i used palmin), a little kitchen knife, scissors, thread and a needle
- some tinfoil or alternative beeswax wraps, cookie cutters, birdfeed, coconut oil, scissors, thread and a needle
- cut the apples in half and use a small cookie cutter.press it a bit in the apple and carve out the shape of the cookie cutter you used (i needed the knife).also take care/watch out if you let your kids press the cookie cutters in the apple, that they don’t press it in too much. you don’t want holes in the apple or the cookie cutter going right through the apple, because the liquid coconut oil will drip through the apple and won’t stay with the birdfeed.once you have carved out the heart or star or whatsoever cookie cutter form, fill it with birdfeed and pour over it the liquid coconut oil (use a lot, because the seeds will absorb the oil).you should see the coconut oil on top (the birdfeed should sort of swim in it).to make the coconut oil harden faster, put your apple birdfeeders in the fridge and wait until the birdfeed is solid combined with the coconut oil.then they are ready to be taken outside.
- use some tinfoil or alternatively flexible beeswax wraps where you can place the coocie cutters in.try to built the tinfoil tight around the cookie cutters.then fill the cookie cutters with birdfeed and pour over the coconut oil on the seeds. i melted the coconut oil (palmin) in a little pan and put in the birdfeed, so that it can already absorb some coconut oil. then i put it in the cookiecutters and filled it up with some extra coconut oil (if you have wrapped your tinfoil or beeswax wraps tight enough around the cookie cutters, then you should be fine).put it in the fridge to speed up the hardening process.
so after our birdfeeders were ready, we were also ready to head out to the woods and the girls were all keen in the beginning to hang them everywhere. realizing that the apples were actually really heavy and hanging them on the fragile little branches didn’t work.the birdfeeders fell in the snow many times, because they fell of the branches or because the girls lost them and then the big search started. the snow was deep and it really wasn’t that easy to find them right away.
in the beginning i just let them hang the birdfeeders where ever they wanted.just because they had so much fun and were so motivated. later on i also tried to explain that there are of course other forest animals that can reach the birdfeeders as well, so we might hang them up higher, so that they are save for the birds to reach them. i had to lift the girls up high to reach the thicker branches to hang on the birdfeeders.and at the end their hands were cold (of course they had to take off their gloves again to work more accurate) and the basket was empty and we were ready to head home…with a ciriousity: will the birdfeeders still hang there the next day? and will the birds eat it?
this afternoon we went up to check on the birdfeeders in the little woods. it snowed like crazy and we hoped to still recognize the little path we took to the trees.and yes, we did. it was wonderful to watch my girls searching and looking for the birdfeeders. the “there, there” or “its still there” or “its all covered in snow” reactions were wonderful.but we were also disappointed because the birds probably didn’t come yet for a visit. the birdfeeders still looked the same, except they were covered with snow.i tried to encourage the girls to be patient. we will go to our little birdfeeder spot in the woods now more often and who knows, maybe one day, we’ll all be surprised or maybe one day if we carefully and quietly walk there, we might spot one or two or more birds….who knows.