Friday, February 7, 2014

Kid Craft: Valentine Bird Feeder Mobile

Yay, happy Friday beauties!!
I still love Fridays even though I stay at home with my boy. There is just something about the day before the weekend that is exciting, no matter if you go to school, stay home, work at home or go to work. The sun is shining too which always puts a little pep in my step!

Today I'm sharing with you a lovely craft David and I did last week. It's super cute, fun and kind of messy. Which actually surprised me but that's probably because I don't have much experience making bird feeders. This activity taught me a lot about how to handle projects with sticky materials and little grabby hands.

The photo above highlights what you will need but I did use string instead of the red ribbon in the end. It's fairly easy though and there are lots of aspects that encourage children to use their senses. Colorful scrap fabric draws the attention of the eyes. Amazing textures like hard bark on the twig, rough paper and silky ribbon or rope. The smell of mixed trail mix and sap on the pine cones. Don't forget the peanut butter! Of course, they have to taste it first before crafting. It's like the unspoken rule of having peanut butter around.

Here's what you'll need:
- Scraps of fabric
- Twig
- 2-4 pine cones
- Bag of trail mix
- Peanut butter
- Ribbon or string
- Red paper
- Scissors
- Tape

First, I let David take a large spoon and break up the trail mix a little. He had fun pounding the bag and was very intrigued with looking at the contents, squishing the bag in his hands. While your kiddo is busy doing that, tie the string to the top of the pine cones and scoop out some peanut butter on a paper plate. I don't have pictures of the process because I try to enjoy the moment. Plus the added pressure to take pictures, for me, takes away some of the interactive fun between my son and I.

Next, let them roll the pine cones in the peanut butter and either dip them into the bag or dump the trail mix on a paper plate and roll the pine cones in it. The smaller the trail mix pieces, the better! While they are doing that, cut out a few small heart shaped pieces from the red paper.

Then, have them wrap the scrap fabric around the twig or help them do it. This part David loved (besides eating the peanut butter) because he liked holding the twig and watching me spin the fabric around it. He also would spin the twig while I held the fabric still. Tie the ends of the fabric to the twig. We did a few different kinds of fabric, inter-lapping and weaving them. Be creative!

Lastly, tie pieces of string to the twig and tape the hearts to it. I used tape because I didn't want to fuss with glue on top of the peanut butter; that would've been a yucky surprise should David think it was a snack! He did like helping me tape the hearts to the string. Next time though, we will use glue or a double stick tape. Attach two long piece of string on either sides of the twig to be used for hanging.

Finish the mobile off by attaching the pine cones and wala! Time to hang and watch the birds flock! Or in our case, witness the calculated destruction our neighborhood squirrels provoked as they demolished our beautiful masterpiece and stole those luscious pine cones.

In the end, it really wasn't about feeding the birds anyway. This craft is a fun, interactive learning tool for any child at any age. Plus adding hearts helps it become all Valentine-y and stuff. Personalize it to your kiddo and go at it! Just make sure you have extra peanut butter and nuts for your little sweetheart.

Have you been doing any Valentine themed kiddo crafts lately? Honestly, I hardly ever do themed crafts geared towards the Holidays but I felt led this time. Check out these mini hearts and arrows pancakes David helped me create as a perfect Valentine breakfast for kids that morning!


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