In the colder months I am always on the search for fun new indoor activities for my toddler and me to do. I try to take any opportunity to get my active little guy outside but sometimes that is not an option in the winter. Those are the days you need to get a bit creative. So I decided to do something that was fun and useful. We made pinecone bird feeders.
Making pinecone bird feeders is an easy yet a little messy of a project. To help make cleanup easier I put paper down on the table. Another thing to keep in mind if your child is still at the age where they put everything in their mouth you may want to use caution once you add in the birdseed. Once I added the birdseed I handed my toddler a separate bowl and spoon to play with that only had the peanut butter and Chex in it.
He loves to help me with everything so I made sure I did the prep work before he knew what we were going to be doing. Here are the materials you are going to need and what you should prep before you grab the kids to help.
-3/4 Cups Creamy Peanut butter (or can be substituted for sunflower butter in case of peanut allergies)
-1 Cup Wheat Chex
-1 ¼ Cup Birdseed
-5-6 Pinecones (depending on size)
-Twine (each piece cut to 30”)
Before I got my son involved I went ahead and cut and tied all the twine I needed to the pinecones. After tying the twine to the pinecones I tied another knot at the top making a large hoop so to hang it easier. Plus, I got all the rest of the materials out that we needed.
Now that you are prepped, let’s get to making!
We started by putting the Wheat Chex in a large bowl and mashing them into little crumbs. You can use whatever means easiest for you. We chose a potato masher and a little bit of hands.
Once you have the Chex mashed up, you can then add the peanut butter and birdseed. Mix all the ingredients until well combined . This is when you may want to set your “eat everything” toddler to the side. ;-p
Now that all the ingredients are mixed together, it’s time to smoother your pinecones with this mixture. This is where it gets a bit messy and sticky. I suggest using your hands and also a spoon. The spoon can help push the mix into the little crevasses of the pinecones. I worked from the bottom of the cone up. You can coat it as heavy as you want but if you coat it too heavy the mixture will potentially fall off easier.
I set the finished pinecones on a plate and let them dry for a few hours. Once they dried, I added a ribbon to the top of each one. I thought it made them look more decorative. Plus, it makes them much easier to spot amongst the similar color backdrop of trees.
You can either hang them on hooks or tree limbs outside. Our tree limbs are all fairly high up so my husband made long hooks out of wire clothes hangers. He simple straightened out a wire clothes hanger and using pliers he curved the wire at each end to make hooks.
(I think we caught him in the middle of a sneeze lol)
Tada! Now you have sweet little pinecone bird feeders that will be fun to watch as the birds enjoy!