Today was, “Let’s be kind to our birds & squirrels day”, around our house with this fun and easy craft you can do with the littles. A winter feathery & furry food craft. Birds and squirrels will love you!
This craft was perfect timing as we had another beautiful snowfall this morning.
If you live where the winter temperatures are harsh, then you know it’s difficult for our little friends to gather sufficient food.
These easy little birdseed cups will help them survive, with their high fat content which helps with fueling and warmth.
With a little supervision, your kids will love-making these!
It’s also fun to watch the birds and squirrels while they’re eating them.
Our grandson loves to birdwatch which is another reason for making these. We didn’t want our winter, bird-less or squirrel-less! Hopefully, these will attract more winter birds and keep those cute critters around. They’re super colorful and pretty!
When those temps dip, these cups will help fuel and provide warmth. The ingredients help them stay nurtured as well. They consist of lard, (for the fueling and warmth), apples, oranges, oats, seeds, and cranberries. All the things that they both love.
MAKING the Winter feathery & furry food craft
- sunflower seeds
- chopped up apples & oranges
(I used a 16 0z package of lard to about 3 cups of ingredients)
- heavy twine
- plastic cups or silicone containers *(See note)
- small screwdriver (to punch hole on bottom of plastic cup!)
- cake pan or tray
- small saucepan
- large bowl
- glass measuring cup or pitcher with spout
- plastic spoon
ADULT: Before you begin with ingredients, clear a large area suitable for the littles to help and roomy enough for laying everything out. You will need to punch holes in the bottom of the plastic cups UNLESS you’re using the silicone baking cups. (Which I wish I had used!). Run LONG pieces of twine through the hole, (leaving plenty for re-tying and hanging), knot, and secure excess at the bottom with tape.
Melt the lard in the saucepan on low/medium temp, stir until melted. Once completely melted, allow to cool to a warm to touch feel.
KIDS: The kids can mix all of the ingredients together in the large bowl. (While the lard is cooling.)
ADULT: Pour melted lard into a small glass spouted cup or pitcher for easier pouring.
Pour into the large bowl with the ingredients and allow the kids to mix it well. You can either pour mixture into the cups or supervise the kids. It should be fine as long as lard is not hot (which it shouldn’t be at this point)!
Once filled, you will allow the lard to firm up and completely cool off (several hours).
Once cooled, just loosen the sides, but before pulling out completely, you can use sharp scissors to cut away at the cup, leaving the know in place and the contents should just slide out. You can pull extra twine from the bottom and tie a small twig to give more support.
They look lovely hanging in your yard, from branches, or bushes.
These little birdseed cups are filled with so much goodness that will encourage new birds while providing nourishment for both squirrels and birds. It teaches kids to know the importance of caring for animals and birds, and they will learn an easy activity that is inexpensive and fun.
HELPFUL TIP: A small twig placed in the center of the mixture can help the birds with additional support to rest on while eating their treat.
Further squirrel knowledge: (click on both topics below) It’s helpful info I researched.
- Our furry little friends need a proper balance of essential minerals because these minerals are crucial for maintaining adequate bone health. It’s important for squirrels to consume a balanced mixture of nuts, seeds, corn, fruit, leaves, fungi and bark.
- What Do Squirrels Eat?
How long do these last before molding
How long do these last once made? Would like to make for wedding favors and would like to make ahead.