*New* Wild Wednesdays: Make a Cold Weather Bird Feeder | Quorum Park
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The Outdoor Bird Feeder is perfect in the colder months. This is a great activity to connect your children with nature near to them and is really easy to do!

This activity comes from Laura Brand’s book ‘The Joy Journal for magical every day play’

 

You Will Need:  

Bird Seed Mix 
Fruit or Nut Mix (can include orange peel, peanuts, ground almonds, cashews) 
Jam Jar 
3 tbsp coconut oil 
Cupcake tray 
Mixing Bowl 
Wooden Spoon 
Twine 
Scissors  

Helps Children with:  

  • Listening  
  • Creativity 
  • Nature 
  • Caring for animals  

Helps Nature with:  

  • Feeding birds in winter  

 

Step One - Mix Seeds in an empty jam jar

In this activity we are using a jam jar for measuring seed amounts (though a big mug would do) pour a mixture of seeds, fruit and nuts into the jar until almost full. 

Melt coconut oil in a pan and mix with seeds

This part is for grown ups! Melt 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan, add seed mix into a mixing bowl and then pour the coconut oil over it. stir together with a wooden spoon. 

 

Set in the fridge for 30 minutes

Add the mixture into the fridge for 30 minutes until it solidifies and is pliable for little hands. The next bit can get a bit messy so while the mixture is in the fridge, prepare a workspace area. 

 

Add to cupcake tray to set in freezer

Take the mixture and separate into seed balls that can be pressed into a cupcake tray for setting. You can neaten them up if you like but try not to under fill them which may cause issues with hanging them. 

When finished, place tray in the freezer for at least 12 hours. 

 

Hang with Twine

Once removed from the freezer you can add some twine for hanging. The original post suggests  pushing a pencil through the top of the feeder to create a hole but we found that caused the discs to break as they were brittle, so instead we tied twine around the middle, and found they still hung well.

Hang on branches and watch birds feed!

Hang your cold weather feeders on branches in your garden, a park or on branches on your local walks. The feeders should last up to three weeks though will melt in warmer weather. 

Ida bird feeder trial

Trying it out at home! 

The premise behind our Wild Wednesday activities is that we find the best ideas in books, online and on Pinterest and then try them out at home and share our experience. 

Events and Community Manager, Laura McGrath tried the cold weather bird feeder at home. 

Ingredient Sourcing: The ingredients for this were really easy to come by and I had most things at home to begin with. 

Mess Factor: The seeds did make a bit of mess but I can cope with up the hoover mess! 

Attention Span: Ida is only 15 months old so let’s be honest, she didn’t really know what we were doing! But we did find the mixing of the dry ingreidnants and the squashing down of the mould mix to be a great sensory experience, plus it involved a walk in nature which is always a plus.

I think older kids would love to know they were helping local wildlife at the same time. We hung our feeders on our usual dog walk so we can collect the twine when they are done and have hung some in the garden too. 

Observations: The original instructions suggest poking a hole in the disc with a pencil to thread the twine. I don’t recommend that at all, when I tried the discs were brittle and broke and one time stabbed my finger with a pencil and drew blood – not worth the risk when you can tie twine around the middle and they hang just fine! 

 

Mixing seed
Bird Feeder hanging in woodland
Bird feeder hangs on tree
Frozen Discs