"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Feeding the Birds: Winter Food Source


We've recently been learning lots through our theme of Winter. We've been learning how animals and people cope during this season. We have discussed wearing extra layers of clothes, eating/drinking warm food/drink, using a heat source, and more for people. We then began thinking about animals during this time of year. We have discussed how some hibernate and others migrate. We have discussed how fur helps animals stay warmer and how some animals have blubber to keep them better insulated. We began discussing the local birds that do not migrate and decided we wanted to do something for them. Thus was born the idea of making a bird-feeder.


We began with collecting the cardboard inserts from paper towel rolls. We cut them in half and used a hole punch to punch two holes at one end. We then provided each child with a good amount of peanut butter and a plastic knife. 


Each child was encouraged to spread the peanut butter all over the roll. Advising them to either hold the end of the roll or inserting their hand in it, helped them have more control while spreading.


After it was covered well with peanut butter, each child got to roll the peanut butter covered cardboard roll in birdseed, covering it as best they could. In the bottom corner of the photo above you can see a completed one.


When the roll was covered to the child's liking, it was placed in another tub to dry a little. When it was "set", a pipe cleaner (chenille stem) was folded in half and the two ends turned up so that it could be a hanger for the feeder. We did place them in plastic baggies to transport them home.

The children were instructed to ask a parent to hang the feeder up and to report back to us the bird sightings they observed.

Modifications should be made as necessary. For example, if you have children with nut allergies, something else would need to be substituted for the peanut butter. The assistant who provided the plastic knives filed down the serrated edges, but you might choose not to do this and use it as a lesson in safety. 

The children were very excited about the whole process and I can't wait to hear about their bird sightings. 




2 comments:

  1. We have done this in the past but now have a few children who are allergic to peanuts. Do you have any cost effective ideas of something else to use besides peanut butter?

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    1. Hi, Hattie. I did a little research after your comment and came up with some alternatives to using peanut butter. I found where someone had used sun butter. It's made from sunflower seeds. I'm not sure about the cost of it. Another person said they had used shortening. Good luck!

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