Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas snacks for the birds..and dogs..and toddlers...

Tam's ArtyTots and ArtyKidz

 

Here's one for the birds...and dogs...and toddlers....




So, after bouts of throat infections etc. (in the middle of summer!), I've been struggling to get my toddler to eat anything...then comes our arty session for the birds today... M. ate two whole bread stars with peanut butter, so although you could use stale bread for this one, I recommend good bread and you might get a few bites into your tot too!

The background to our experimental bird treats for today was a "candy cane cereal decoration" that we made a few days ago (great fine motor skills development threading the holey cereal onto pipe cleaners!), that our birds still haven't touched.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere we have an abundance of fruit on the trees at this time of year and so our birds seem to be picky (it might also be due to the glitter pipe cleaners that I used, so I'll make a few more in plain colours to check in the next few days).

So, we tried a few different things - salt dough stars and worms, toilet rolls cut into spirals, paper plate wreaths and toast cut into star or angel shapes - all covered in peanut butter and honey with wild bird seed mix sprinkled on top!  The birds went CRAZY and nearly all the seed has been pecked off within a day!

Here's how we did it...

*mix of half peanut butter, half honey
*salt dough ornaments (already baked/hard) OR toilet roll spiral OR toast OR paper plate wreath

M. ate a few paint brush fulls of the peanut butter before we mixed it with honey and spread it onto the ornaments...he then really enjoyed sprinkling the seeds onto the sticky ornaments/toast/paper plate wreath with his hands (I thought this was great as he still doesn't like the feeling of Gloop (cornflour and water)!) We then chose our spots in the trees to hang our creations and waited for the fun to begin....

 



The dogs felt a bit left out (their favorite chew toys as puppies were peanut butter cow hooves, so the smell of peanut butter still drives them crazy), so we made them peanut butter biscuit treats! M. loves getting them to sit and then presenting them one at a time with the biscuits...

 

The scientist is me immediately starts comparing our experiments and wondering why some bird feeders were better than the others...situation, taste, reflective surfaces, bird species, time of year etc....but for today, we just had fun experimenting!!