Guest Author - Alissa Moy
The spring months mean outdoor activities for many homeschool families. This is a perfect time to work on a nature themed project, such as making homemade bird seed. Using a simple platform type feeder, treat our flying friends to a tasty meal. Your homeschooler, depending on his or her age, can help chop, mix and fill the birdseed into the feeder. Encourage your child to add creativity to this recipe, as there is no limit to bird safe snacks. For younger children, discuss the importance of bird nutrition and what foods are safe for birds to eat. Older students will enjoy exploring the birds in your home habitat, and creating recipes suited to their tastes.
Be sure to explore the scientific aspect of this fun project,too. Your homeschooler can chart and graph the amount of food eaten by the birds. They can keep track of types of birds who feast nearby, as well as how different ingredients effect the amount of food eaten.
The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher: Birdfeeders and Bird Gardens by Robert Burton is an excellent book for children and adults to not only learn about creating different bird feeders, but also making unique bird friendly gardens.
If you have an art loving homeschooler the bird house painting kit, " Works of Ahhh... Bird Feeder Wood Painting Kit" is a great choice for a safe and easy project.
Here is the recipe for this tasty bird snack, and you will find the products mentioned above at the end of this page.
2 cups chopped finely and dried dates
2 cups raisins
1 cup finely chopped prunes
2 cups chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts. These need to but crushed or chopped very small
1 cup dried squash, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
2 cups dried and toasted bread, plain croutons
1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large pail or bowl.
2. Add a small amount to your bird feeder, such as 2 cups, and see how the birds take to it.
3. Store the leftover feed in a paper bag in a dry, cool location. Be sure to keep a measuring cup nearby to have your child measure the amounts they feed the birds. Also, be sure to watch for mold if the weather gets super warm.