Have I got a couple of fantastic gift ideas for you for today’s

What a treat! Well, perhaps not for a person, but definitely a treat for our little bird friends! This week’s gift is for anyone who enjoys watching birds in the trees – both the real kind outdoors, and the fake kind indoors :0)

We’ll start off with:

Hanging Bird Seed Feeders

Age Range: 2 and up

Time Required: 10 minutes (1 hour baking time)

Skills: Must be able to follow specific instructions! Such as “NO! Don’t eat the bird seed!!!!” And be prepared for a bit of a mess if you are working with toddlers. Just don’t do this one RIGHT after you’ve vacuumed :D

Step 1

Gather together foil, baking sheet, measuring cups, bowls, spoons, cookie cutters, straws, bird seed, flour and water.

Measure 3/4 cup bird seed, 1 tablespoon flour and 3 tablespoons water into a bowl.

Step 2

Mix until it starts to come together, a little bit sticky, but not gluey.

I told you it would be a bit messy :D

Step 3

Spray cookie cutters lightly with cooking spray, then place on foil lined cookie sheet. Scoop the bird seed mixture into the cookie cutters, pressing down as you go. Make sure it is packed in tight!

Step 4

Insert a cut straw into the bird seed in a position where it will hang properly – not too near the edge, and not in the middle (unless you have a round one, otherwise it will be lopsided!).

Step 5

Bake at 175 degrees for 1 hour. Don’t worry, the oven temperature is low enough to not melt the straws, or even the plastic cookie cutters I used! When cooled, thread a ribbon through the hole (use the straw if you’re having a hard time getting it through!) and hang outside to await some visitors!


Felt Bird Ornaments

Age Range: 5 and up

Time Required: 10-30 minutes (depending on how fast you can stitch)

Skills: Must be able to make a basic stitch, sew on a button (never fear, this is NOT difficult to teach to a 5 or 6 year old plus, if you have a bit of patience!)

Step 1

Using a bird template, cut out your bird silhouette and wings from felt (or felted wool). Choose a colour embroidery thread, ribbon and button for the eye.

I used this template from Living the Swell Life.

Step 2

Sew the button eye on first (on one side of your bird), going a few times through the button holes to make sure it is secure. (Yes, we taught our class of 13, split in two, to do this in less than 5 minutes!) Sew on the wing (on the same side – we did not put two wings on) in the same x pattern. Then secure the ribbon to the top, both sides stitched down in an x pattern.

(Sorry, I meant to get better pictures of this, but with sick kids on the weekend, I didn’t get a chance to get my 6 year old in action doing his stitches!)

Step 3

Line up the sides of your bird, then begin stitching from the ribbon, all the way around the bird, until you reach the top of the head (stop here, or you won’t be able to stuff your birdie!)

Use a front to back stitch, always going in one direction (this is super easy for kids to do – start from behind, come through to the front, then every stitch goes front to back, or back to front. It makes sense when you start doing it).

Step 4

When you get to the top of the head, stop and stuff your bird.

We used batting from the fabric store, but you really could use any thing you have on hand, even felt and fabric scraps. Stuff until you like the look of your bird.

Step 5

Finish stitching up your bird, hang on your tree, and enjoy!

(Head on over to Funky Polka Dot Giraffe for some other great craft and gift ideas!)