Because I’m a stay-at-home mom with an energetic three-year-old, I’m always trying to find ways to entertain, distract, and occupy my child. When the cool weather hit in November, I found myself reminiscing on creative activities I enjoyed as a child. That’s when I remembered the peanut butter bird feeder. Not only am I a big fan of creating, but I’m a big fan of animals, so is my three-year-old.
If you’ve never created a peanut butter bird feeder, it’s pretty simple. You need the following supplies:
butter knife or spoon
plate or bowl
If your child is allergic to peanut butter, obviously use a substitute such as sun butter. Also, in hindsight I realized a knife probably wasn’t the best tool for a three-year-old. Better off equipping your child with a spoon, depending on their age.
Step One – Pine Cone Hunt
We currently rent a house on a 10-acre wooded lot. It’s beautiful. So, I took my three-year-old with me to scour the property for perfect pinecones. This is part of the fun! Try to find pine cones that are not smooshed or chewed on. I discovered that the deer who roam our land are rather fond of pine cones, which made it quite difficult to find good ones.
Step Two – Prepare the Pine Cones
I advise parents do this step as some pine cones can be very prickly and difficult for tender, little hands to hold. We had 3 pinecones and I wanted them to hang at different heights, so I cut the yarn at 3 feet, 4 feet, and 5 feet. Instead of simply tying the yarn around the tip, wrap the yarn vertical around the pinecone and then tie around the tip. This will hold the peanut butter bird feeder more securely. Remember, you want birds to hang on these!
Step Three – Peanut Butter
Here’s the messy part. Put on your patience pants, moms. Help your child cover the entire pine cone with a thick layer of peanut butter. The more peanut butter smeared on, the more bird seed will stick, the longer your peanut butter bird feeder will last. Again, use sun butter if your child has an allergy to peanut butter. Also, a spoon will be safer than a knife if your child is young.
Step Four – Roll it in Seed
Fill your plate or bowl with bird seed. I bought “wild bird seed” from Food Lion for about $5. Not too bad. Help your child roll the pine cone, now covered in peanut butter, around the plate filled with bird seed. Again all things in hindsight, we used a plate, but a bowl probably would have created less mess. Make sure the pine cones are completely covered with bird seed. Upon completion, they shouldn’t be too sticky and you should be able to hold your peanut butter bird feeder in your hand.
Step Five – Hang Them High
Find a good hanging place outside, which grants easy access for birds, but not so much for other critters. We hung our peanut butter bird feeder from the beadboard ceiling of our covered deck close enough to open air in order to attract our avian friends. We saw squirrels staring longingly at our feeders, but they never could reach them. Success!
Our three-year-old loved seeing the birds nibbling on his creations. It’s a sweet experience. We’d love to see the peanut butter bird feeders you make with your little ones this winter. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook!