Feed the Birds

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It’s been a cold, long winter here and while we have been able to cozy up by the fire, the birds have been left to the elements.

And so we have been doing our part to keep them fed – here are a couple of our favourite homemade bird feeders:

 

Peanut Butter Sunflower Rolls:

The kids really enjoy making these ones. They are quick and easy and only require a few items.

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Materials:

– Peanut Butter

– Plastic Knives

– Sunflower seeds (or any birdseed)

– Bowl or plate (for rolling)

– Toilet paper rolls

– String (for hanging)

– String

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Allow the children to spread peanut butter onto their desired number of toilet paper rolls. Then roll in your choice of bird seed. Lace a string through the roll, tie and they are ready to hang!

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Blueberry Cheerio Hearts:

These feeders are a tasty treat for the birds and also double and triple (and even quadruple!) as a snack for the kids and a fine motor and patterning activity!

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Materials:

– pipe cleaners

– cheerios

– blueberries

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Method:

Allow kids to thread the Cheerios and blueberries onto each pipe cleaner. This is a great opportunity to encourage younger children to be more precise in their fine motor activity, especially with the blueberries, which require much less force! For older children, ask them to create and continue a pattern as they thread. Once the kids are satisfied with their creation, twist the pipe cleaner ends and bend into a cute heart shape! Hang.

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 Our finished products are loved by the birds and even make the trees look pretty, but best of all, they bring the sounds of Spring to our yard…since the snow and cold don’t seem to be in a hurry to go!

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 Do have a favourite way to feed the birds in you area? Care to share? We are always looking for new ideas!

Painting with nature!

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Each week on our Bush Kinder walk, I try to have the kids focused on some aspect of nature, whether it be based on observing, listening, or collecting. Their favourite, by far, is collecting pieces of nature for future crafting!

This week I had them look for natural items that could be used as paintbrushes for a painting project. They collected leaves, pine needles, a pine cone and some tree bark (my rule is that all collecting must be from that which has fallen naturally to the forest floor, this way we are minimizing our eco-footprint, as well).

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We began by heading out to the yard and setting up with a canvas, a variety of fall paint hues, and our nature finds.

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Then we got to work experimenting with the varying paint strokes, choosing from the natural items we had found.

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Even our youngest artist enjoyed this activity!

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This was a great creative experience and our completed canvases were masterpieces, in my humble opinion!

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Bush Kinder Mornings

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I follow some amazing peeps on Instagram and came across this idea of Bush Kinder from some UK mommies on there. From the moment I first saw it, I knew it was something I wanted to do in some form with my own littles.

When the decision came to homeschool Little Momma, I quickly began networking with some like-minded homeschool families and began to orchestrate a weekly gathering. My goal was to find some homeschool playmates and to spend at least one child-led morning out in nature each week.

We are only 2 weeks into the program and my goal has been achieved and then some!

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Our group focuses on one nature trail each month, with the thought that the children will have the opportunity to work towards mastery of their environment, as they explore and discover on their own terms. And let me tell you, it has been incredible to watch these little ones running wild and free, choosing when to charge forward and when to take in the beauty around them. WHAT they notice is so refreshing and eye opening, and I can only count myself blessed and priveledged to watch it unfold.

These are the moments that pull me away from my need for planning and curriculum and towards the unschooling movement. I see value in both ends of this continuum, but cannot argue the value of learning initiated and directed by a child (with some adult facilitation of course!).

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I am beyond excited to continue this adventure of learning and growing at Bush Kinder, alongside some amazing littles!