Thursday, September 26, 2013

Birdseed mosaics

This is simple craft to let children explore patterns, make some lovely artwork and sustain the wild creatures -- like birds, chipmunks and squirrels -- in their yard as well. We're going to make lovely mosaics out of seeds!

This one is really easy. Just spread vegetable shortening, lard or peanut butter onto bread. Then use a variety of chopped nuts (be careful if there are allergies in your house),seeds (nyger, safflower, sunflower, both hulled and unhulled), grains (like millet, milo, cracked corn, rolled oats, lentils, etc.), dried vegetables, dried fruit, etc to create pretty patterns. Before you worry about feeding bread to birds, just read this post, showing that it isn't any worse for most of them than it is for us. You can use bread as a base safely, but if you prefer not to chance it, use a bit of found tree bark instead.

You can always go for the classic pine cone birdfeeder as well. For this you just spread your shortening on a dried pinecone and rolls it in seed. Then tie a piece of twine to the top and hang it near home. (Hint: For a more decorative option, try using small grapevine wreaths from the craft store!)

So what seeds should you choose? Good question! You can just select things you find pretty or grab a premade mix. But if you want to feed or attract specific birds, you'll need to do a bit more research. No matter what you choose, it's guaranteed that you'll find feathered friends to enjoy it!

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