What You Will Need:
- 1c birdseed
- 1/3 c. water
- 1 pkg knox unflavored gelatin (there are usually three individual packs in a box so one box could actually make you three batches of these birdseed hearts).
- heart shaped cookie cutters (4-6 depending on size)
- 2-3 straws
- ribbon or twine
- mixing bowl
- cookie sheet
- parchment paper (or wax paper)
Have your Little Pnut help you line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, lay out your cookie cutters on the paper and cut your straws into thirds.
Make Your Birdseed Mixture
Measure 1c of birdseed with your Little Pnut, have them dump it into a mixing bowl and set aside. Boil 1/3 cup water in the microwave using a microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Immediately remove the water from the microwave once it begins to boil and stir in 1 pkg of knox unflavored gelatin until it’s completely dissolved. Then, pour the water mixture into the birdseed and stir until combined. Your Little Pnuts will love to help with this part but use caution, it’s hot. In the end, the mixture should be very sticky.
Form Your Hearts
Using a spoon, have your Little Pnut fill the cookie cutters with the birdseed mixture. You will want to help them pack it down so it’s nice and dense. Then, stick the straw pieces into the birdseed cakes wherever you would like to create a hole for hanging. It’s VERY important to do this step while the birdseed hearts are still wet. Once all your hearts are filled and the straws are in leave everything to dry. This can take a few hours. (Maybe you could get your Little Pnut to help you clean up).
When the Birdseed Hearts are Dry
Very carefully remove the straws and cookie cutters from the birdseed hearts. The cakes are fairly sturdy but will break with too much force so make sure your Little Pnut knows how to be very gentle if they help you with this step. Cut some twine or ribbon to your desired length and use it to tie the bird seed hearts to a tree outside. Then, sit back and do a little bird watching with your Little Pnut. Your Little Pnut will feel so proud to do something so kind for the birds!
Try different shaped cookie cutters. We do this activity many times throughout the year using many different shapes of cookie cutters. It never gets old and my Little Pnuts from age 2-12 love it every time.
This activities focuses on the following Developmental Milestones for your Little Pnuts:
Fine Motor Skills, Focus and Concentration, Shape Recognition, Hand-Eye Coordination, Creative Play, Imaginative Play & Free Play.—Jennifer Haas, founder of Plain Vanilla Mom.