STEAM Learning Lab – Birdseed Decorations

Birdseed Decorations
Ages 3 and up

Backyard bird feeders can be a great way to stay in touch with nature all winter long. Although we may enjoy playing in the snow, for birds winter can be difficult. For our feathered friends it takes extra energy to stay warm and food is harder to find. By putting up a bird feeder you can set up an avian hangout in your own backyard. Throughout the season exotic birds migrate through the state, stopping at feeders as they head out on their journey. Kids (and adults) of all ages will enjoy seeing the wide variety of birds at their feeders, both the regulars and those that are just passing through.

This is also a great chance to teach kids about how to have a positive connection with nature. Birds are an important part of our ecosystem, helping keep predator-prey relationships on track and also aiding in plant pollination. By feeding the birds throughout the winter, kids can see their good deeds having a positive impact on the world around them.

Materials:

  • 2 cups Birdseed
  •  cup of water
  • 2 packages gelatin (about 5 tablespoons)
  • Straw cut into pieces
  • Yarn
  • Cookie cutters or cardboard tube
  • Parchment paper
  • Knitting needle or chopstick

Directions:

  1. Bring water to boil
  2. Add gelatin
  3. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved
  4. Remove from heat and let mixture rest for 1 minute
  5. Add birdseed and stir to coat
  6. Place ornaments on parchment paper (or cut carboard tube into circles, apply cooking spray on the inside and use in place of ornaments)
  7. Squish birdseed into ornaments. Place a straw piece where you would like to make a hole to later place a ribbon
  8. Let sit for 3 hours to harden
  9. Remove cookie cutters and straw pieces
  10. Allow ornaments to cure at least overnight (24-48 hours is better)
  11. Place yarn through and hang outside tip: use knitting needle or chopstick to help push the yarn through the hole left by the straw
  12. Enjoy watching feathered friends visit

More Fun:

  • These ornaments make great gifts! Simply wrap in breathable wrapping
  • Take your birdwatching to the next level and become a citizen scientist!
  • Check out this fun card game that helps show how all organisms within an ecosystem rely on each other-great for kids 8 and older.
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