3/4 of the way through our bird week! Welcome to day 3! I’d like to start by saying that although I’m sure every blog post I write is littered with typos, this one will probably have even more, as I’m typing whilst watching Midsomer Murders, which requires most of my attention.
Yesterday I promised I’d introduce you to our birds nest, and our new family of eggs. I have a vine archway in the garden that I am obsessed with. Those who know me know that I have a major black thumb. If I even look at a plant wrong it withers and dies in repulsion. I have had to accept that my vine archway will probably succumb eventually to my “gardening”. But for the meanwhile it is still growing, and perhaps because it’s outside, and I try to only touch it every few months to tie the branches to the wire frame, it’ll survive my curse. Anyhoo, all this to say, somehow I’ve managed to grow something that has grown large enough for a real life bird to move into it.
Whilst I will most likely murder this vine eventually, I’m hoping that I don’t accidentally murder a family of birds too. So for craft today we got down to making some bird feeders, so at least if I destroy their habitat, they’ll move on with full tummies.
For the craft you will need
- A pringles tube
- tissue paper
- bird seed
- twine or all weather string
- spray paint (only for the anal matchy matchy people like me)
We decided to do the craft outside today. Firstly the weather was wonderful, and secondly if you have ever given a child bird food, doing it inside is literal madness. As much as I would adore a Roomba, I currently do not have one and without a magical robot vacuum no bird seed is entering my house. I moved the little Ikea table, that is just gather dust in the sitting room, onto the deck. Its definitely seen better days. I got it second hand when we lived in Pensacola and it was ropey then. I should probably trash it. As a side note: the real nail in its coffin was when I allowed the kids to use it as a playdough table. A word to the wise: the glitter playdough doesn’t hold its glitter very well. It sticks to every surface. I hate it. I should invoice them for the $4 I spent at the garage sale on the table…… but, as always, I digress.
The entire premise of this activity is basically “fill pringles tube with birdseed – hang it outside. done” however this isn’t going to fill an hours worth of family craft time. Luckily my completely anal behaviors meant that I used up the first 10 minutes demanding that the boys let me spray paint their Pringles tubes to be a uniform blue color. Once this was done I let them go crazy with tissue paper and glue to decorate their feeders. Top tip: definitely invest in those glue spreaders if you’re using Elmers. I don’t even actually know if they are a think in the USA, but back in 1997 when I was at school we had these nifty little sticks that you dipped in the glue and used to spread it. Is that still a thing?! Now they make them for diaper cream. Peeling the solidified glue off one of those bad boys was the ultimate post art treat. Sadly as I didn’t have these (provisionally imaginary) spreaders so I gave the kids paint brushes to use, I regret it. You heard it here first.
Once they had stuck their random adornments onto the tube they each got a spoon and busied themselves filling them with bird seed. Aside from Arthur, who didn’t have a pringles tube, and even if he had, would have done what he did anyway, and poured the seed all over himself and the deck. Once again I failed myself, if you’re doing this yourself then please make the holes and attach the twine/string before the kids fill them. Otherwise it’ll go everywhere, and if you’re like me, and wiped the glue on your trousers as a quick solution, you’ll be a human sized snack for a bird all afternoon.
So there we have it, now we have two bird feeders hanging in our yard, hopefully to feed our new friends, but most likely to attract squirrels and other critters, and slowly mould in the rain. We tried.
Educationally today we took the party indoors. We in fact didn’t get round to doing this activity until just before dinner. All the time in between bird feeders and this was spent kicking bird seed off the baby and refereeing arguments between the big two over some Bowser Mario Kart Hot Wheels car they both apparently have to be touching at all times. There was a second one, I Luigi I think. However his head snapped off, and although I promised I’d glue it back on, I just threw it straight in the trash. So really all the arguing could have been avoided if I’d followed through on anything.
Ok, back to learning. I printed 14 copies of the same empty nest onto brown card, then taped two pieces of twine across the gap in between the sitting room and the library. Then I used clothes pins to attach the nests so that they hung in two lines. On each piece of card I had written a number group (0-10, 10-20, 20-30 etc)
Earlier today I had printed out a ton of egg templates and split them into four groups. For two of the groups I just wrote different numbers on each egg. The other two groups were a little more challenging. On one I wrote numbers as a words, so that William could practice his reading. On the third group I had addition equations. To keep it from being overly ambitious I use had a multiple of ten, with another number to add. This saved William having to carry over in his head.
I then laid all the egg choices out on the footstool and let them come and choose. Each egg they selected they had to go and stick onto its corresponding nest. It actually took them much longer than I expected. This was due in part to Teddy being truly peculiar and searching through the egg choices to find “pairs” before he stuck them up. Apparently this was so no egg had to be alone in a nest…. somewhat strange, but at least he’s caring! William really loved the mathematical aspect of it, he liked choosing the addition eggs. As usual though he found the fine motor aspect of the sticking tiresome. He really has to start working harder on those skills, I’m never going to make him neat, but I would like to teach him value in at least being presentable. As with everything, we’ll get there in the end. Catch you all tomorrow where we wrap up birds, welcome in the weekend, and I start to panic about a theme for next week. All the usual stuff. All theme suggestions actively received and welcome!
LINKS AND SOURCES TO RESOURCES
- Craft: Bird feeder from Pringles can
- Read: Atlantic Puffins comprehension
- Educate: Egg template Nest template
- Watch: How to help a bird