Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kid Craft: Pine Cone Bird Feeders (Squirrel Feeders, More Like)

This, my lovelies, is an easy one! The kind of kids craft you bust out on the fly on a rainy day or a whiny day or when you're having your own I-can't-take-it-any-more day and you need something, anything to distract your LOs while you throw down a quick mason jar of box wine.

What I meant to say is that this kids craft is especially good in autumn when pine cones are plentiful and yard fauna is hungry. All that other stuff must have been a typo.

Your squirrels are gonna love the results of your efforts. Seriously. Pine cone bird feeders just reads so nicely, but if our experience is any indication you're going to see more four footed friends than feathered friends dining once you hang these up.

All you need is:
  • Creamy peanut butter (or any spreadable nut butter if you have LOs with peanut allergies)
  • Birdseed
  • Some pine cones. 
We use the generic store-brand birdseed that I can't imagine is formulated for the local wildlife but they nonetheless like just fine. I don't even know if we were using the right kind of pine cones - we just used the kind we stroll by every morning on the walk to daycare. And the peanut butter? Shaws' finest, ha ha. You could use organic raw peanut butter and top-shelf birdseed but I think the animals don't care.

Anyway, here's how to make your pine cone bird feeders:

Step 1 - Pour out a layer of seeds on a plate and set it aside.

Step 2 - Attach a round of thread or yarn or string to the top of your pine cones so they can be hung up when you're done. (I forget to do this EVERY DANG TIME and end up with peanut buttery fingers.)

Step 3 - Spread your peanut butter on your pine cones. Get as much peanut butter on there as you can, in all the nooks and crannies. 

Step 4 - Roll your buttery cones in the seeds until you can't really see any more peanut butter.

Step 5 - Hang them up outdoors, preferably near a window so you can see who's nomming on your seeds.

That's it! What's nice about this kids craft is that the little kids can do everything except string them and hang their pine cone bird feeders with minimal prep needed. Older kids could even do the stringing and the hanging!

As I mention above, we have not seen a single bird flit in for a feed. Maybe they don't like peanut butter? Perhaps they'd prefer a higher quality of seed. Our first pine cone feeder actually hung all lonesome by our kitchen window for about a week without losing a single seed before we heard our first visitor and ran to see who it might be.

And here's who we saw:

Sorry, birdies. But nice to know our efforts will help fatten up some of the skinny squirrels before our long New England winter! Even though they leave peanut shells all over my back yard - where they get the peanuts, I don't know - I still find them all kinds of charming.

How cute is this little guy?

What kinds of autumn crafts for kids have you been doing?


  1. SO cute! I remember doing those with my "bigs" so many years ago!

    1. :) I must have done this at some point, too, but I can't remember at all. The idea just popped into my head one day so it must have come from somewhere!

  2. I am going to do this with Marlie. I will have to remember to pick up some cheap peanut butter though because I am not feeding our expensive almond butter to a squirrel. lol

    1. Ha! Poor squirrels will be wondering where their gourmet goodies are!


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