Decking the halls for the holidays has become extra-special as the kids get older. They can now carefully unwrap ornaments, stir large vats of steamy hot chocolate, and assemble their own decorations to be hung. They’ve created large piles of paper candy-canes and we’re starting to run out of glitter. In the midst of all this creating they’ve been asking us,
“But what about our woods?”
We aren’t surprised. They often spend more time outdoors than in, depending on the day, so naturally they’d want to share the festivities with woodland friends. But how to do that?
The Tradition of Feeding Birds at Christmastime
After a long explanation on why squirrels don’t enjoy glitter as much as they do, we came up with an easy ornament centered around something all animals enjoy- food!
The international tradition of feeding animals around the holiday usually focuses on birds.
In Denmark, the father of the household hangs a corn stalk in a tree on Christmas Eve, so the birds know that Christmas has arrived. In Sweden, the last sheaf of grain from the harvest is hung out for birds to enjoy. They believe attracting lots of birds means a good harvest for the next year.
So we created an ornament for all our wildlife to enjoy- especially the birds.
Wildlife Nature Ornament Supplies
- Five similarly-sized branches or twigs
- Florist wire, cut into five-inch lengths
- Large cookie sheet
- Peanut butter
- Butter knife or spoon
- Bird seed mix
With your child, arrange the branches in a five-pointed star. Working together, wrap the florist wire securely around each star point. You can also wrap more wire around middle branches to make it more sturdy.
Once your star is created, place it on the large cookie sheet and smear with peanut butter. Butter knives and spoons work great for this, so do little hands 🙂
Now that it’s covered with peanut butter, sprinkle bird seed generously over it.
We found the larger seeds didn’t always want to stick well, but that’s okay. Just save any outliers for another project (like these birdseed ornaments) or sprinkle outside. Use one more length of florist wire to create a hanging loop at the top.
You can save your ornaments for Christmas Eve- but our kids were too excited for that. They wanted to hang it right away!
Now we have an extra-special treat for our woodland friends, and a new family tradition too.
Cassidy Sevier is a former classroom teacher who now homeschools three active kids. She shares their homeschooling & creative adventures at Freshly Planted. She loves to create activities, adventure in the woods with her kids, and sneak dark chocolate when no one’s looking. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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