by Nikki Erwin, SCRATCH Coordinator
Winter is a great time to teach your kids a little something about nature. These birdseed ornaments are a fun and easy kid-friendly activity that provides a great little snack for birds during the cold months of winter!
What You Will Need
- 2 small packets of Knox gelatin
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 1/2 c. birdseed
- pipe cleaner
- mold (we used small heart shaped silicone molds)
- Dissolve 2 small packets of Knox in 1/2 c. of hot water (we used water that had been heated in a coffee pot).
- Add 1 1/2 c. birdseed and mix until the seeds are coated. If you have a lot of excess liquid, add a little more seed.
- Bend pipe cleaner into a circle that fits inside the mold, leave the opposite end straight.
- Spoon coated birdseed into mold, filling halfway. Press the birdseed down to make sure that it is well packed.
- Place the bent end of the pipe cleaner into the mold on top of the coated birdseed.
- Fill the mold the rest of the way up, pressing down on the birdseed to make sure that it is firmly packed on top as well as on the bottom.
- Leave the birdseed in the mold to dry (we left them for about two hours).
- Pull the straight end of the pipe cleaner around and twist it, making a circle to hang the bird seed ornament.
- “Pop” the birdseed out of the mold; allow the ornaments to finish drying before you try and hang them (we left them overnight, just to be sure).
You can use twine, but pipe cleaner can be twisted around tree branches, making it easier to retrieve them and dispose of them once the birds have eaten their treats! We did this activity with Pre-K to early elementary school aged children (SCRATCH) and with teenagers (Produce Pedalers). Kids of all ages enjoyed this activity!
The SCRATCH Project will be selling these ornaments at the Winter Blues Farmers Market on Thursday, February 25, starting at 4 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center.