Pinecone Birdfeeder: Inviting Backyard Birds to a Picnic

Today was the most beautiful Fall day.  The air was bright and clean.  It was cool and crisp, a little chilly in fact.  This time of year always amazes me, surprises me.  I forget how wonderful it is.  Last week I took Marlee to the pet store to see the animals.  Just a little fun, free way to spend some time.  She loved seeing the birds and that gave me an idea.  Fall is the perfect time to create bird feeders for the backyard.  I found these birdfeeder crafts for kids and was inspired.  I decided we would do the pinecone bird feeder.  

Earlier in the week we gathered pinecones and I gathered the rest of the supplies.  Marlee was all too eager to go outside and play.

We just used what we had around the house: a pinecone, some string, scissors, peanut butter, a bowl and spoon and bird food.  We used oats and nuts, but I loved this website that explained what foods to use to attract certain kinds of birds.  Or you could use store bought bird seed.  

First I tied the string around the top of the pinecone and made a knot.  

Then I scooped some peanut butter into a bowl (so we could double dip the spoon and not ruin our jar of peanut butter! Or you could just dedicate a jar of peanut butter for crafts and not for eating.)  Just a little helpful hint on the peanut butter:  The kind we buy is “natural” and therefore doesn’t contain thickening agents.  I found this makes for a pretty messy peanut butter application, but still works.  Next time, I think I will buy regular peanut butter just for this purpose.  

Then I showed Marlee how to spread the peanut butter on the pinecone. 

Next I showed her how to sprinkle the oats and nuts onto the pinecone.

She loved playing with the peanut butter on the spoon and made a big mess! We got peanut butter everywhere!  With toddlers it is not the end product that matters but the experience, and for this project it is definitely true.  There were many different textures and shapes for her to feel, and mediums with which to play.  In the end, I made sure the pinecone was bird worthy and I hung it proudly in our backyard.  

Afterwards we stayed outside for a little picnic and waited to see if any birds might join us.  Unfortunately they didn’t (although we did hear a nearby woodpecker) but Marlee didn’t seem to mind.


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