December is a very busy month in our house. Besides wrapping up our Christmas shopping and adorning our house with decorations, we spend much of our month teaching our son about the joy of giving to others. Last week I talked about some of the charities we like to give to during the holiday season. Today, I would like to share an activity we like to do as a gift to the wildlife that frequents our backyard.
We have been making birdseed ornaments to give to our forest friends on Christmas Day since Lil’ Man was two-years-old. We find great joy in watching the birds and squirrels nibble on these special treats.
Here are just a few of our forest friends that like to come visit. The raccoons like to come raid the bird feeder in the middle of the night. They seem to like to work in groups. One raccoon will climb the tree and spill birdseed onto the ground for the others. I believe the fox was helping himself to some of their leftovers.
DIY Birdseed Ornaments
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Large Spoon
- Cookie Cutters
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper
- Twine or Yarn
- Plastic Straws
- 4 cups Birdseed
- 3 teaspoons Gelatin
- 3 tablespoons Corn Syrup
- 3/4 cup flour
You can find the original recipe here at Birds & Blooms.
- Lay the cookie cutters out on parchment paper. Cut the straws to about 1 inch in length. Spray cookie cutters and straws with cooking spray.
- Combine flour and birdseed in the large mixing bowl. Have your child use the large spoon to thoroughly mix the two ingredients.
- In a sauce pan, bring water and corn syrup to a boil. With your whisk, slowly mix in the gelatin. (If you add the gelatin too quickly, it will create large chunks that are difficult to dissolve.)
- Once the gelatin is dissolved, slowly poor the mixture into the birdseed/flour mixture. Have your child mix all ingredients together with the large spoon. Make sure there is no residual flour/seeds on the bottom of the bowl. You want everything to be sticky!
- Now for the messy part! With your large spoon, place the birdseed mixture into the cookie cutters. Help your child pack down the birdseed. Place a straw toward the top to create an area for the the twine/yarn to go through.
- Allow each ornament to dry (I usually let them sit overnight). Once dry, use your fingers to gently push the ornament out from the cookie cutter. IMPORTANT: Remember to remove the straw from each ornament, so that it is not ingested by any of the wildlife.
- Cut your twine or yarn to desired length. Run the twine through the hole left behind by the straw and secure at the top with a knot.
- Help your child hang the ornaments outside and enjoy observing your feathered (and furry) friends eating this festive treat!
If you would like to make the ornament tag, you can find the Cricut project here. This has been one of our favorite holiday traditions. This is the second year Lil’ Man will be passing these out to friends at school. We have loved sharing these with Lil’ Man’s friends and hope that you will enjoy this activity as well!