Here's a great project for chilly afternoons when you and your young readers are cooped up in the house. Treat your backyard birds to birdseed treat and help them prepare for winter, just as bear helps his friends get everything ready for their hibernation.
It seems a little early to pull out the Christmas books (don't worry, they're coming!) but we still wanted to make these festive, so we made them with holiday cookie cutters. Tied with a red ribbon and wrapped up, they make a perfect present for anyone on your young reader's giving list.
Homemade Birdseed Ornaments
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups birdseed
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, corn syrup, and water until smooth.
- Add birdseed, and mix until coated and the birdseed is sticky.
- Tear off a large sheet of parchment or waxed paper. For easy transport, place on a cookie sheet. Select several cookies cutters: the best for this project are medium to large (around 4-5 inches across) and don't have lots of small projections, as these will easily break off the finished ornaments. In the photo above, the candy-shaped treat broke where the "twist" would be on a real piece of candy.
- Place cookie cutters on waxed or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Fill cookie cutters with birdseed mixture, pressing firmly. Keep a small dish of water handy while filling molds; if the birdseed mixture sticks to your hands, simply dip fingers in water before handling.
- Use a skewer to make a hole near the top of the shape.
- Allow to dry for 10 hours or overnight.
- Carefully remove ornament from cookie cutter mold and feed string or ribbon through hole, tying a loop to hang from a branch.