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!

Art Appreciation: The Group of Seven

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I love the arts, especially the creativity it evokes in young people. However, my own artistic ability, as it relates to visual arts, is very limited, and so I thought a fun way to integrate it into our school plan for the year would be through monthly Art Appreciation projects.

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October’s Art Appreciation project (albeit a little late being posted!) was a tribute to The Group of Seven, famous for its paintings inspired by the Canadian landscape.

We took a stroll up to the sand pit near our home and let the Fall landscape that surrounded us inspire our paintings, using tempera paints on canvas.

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The combination of Fall air and forest surroundings were the perfect muse, seeing as the kid’s both produced some pretty great masterpieces!

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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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Turkey and Leaf Craft

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Do your kiddos enjoy picking endless fallen leaves, like dandelions in the Spring?

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Here is a fun and simple craft that will allow you to put some of their marvelous collections to good use!

I came across the idea on Pinterest, but there was no clear original poster, so I only feel it fair to comment that the idea was not my own!

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To Make your own Leaf-Turkey:

– Pre-cut your turkey pieces (head, wattles, beak and feet)

– Collect some leaves

– Have your child glue the pieces into place on a piece of construction paper

– Add leaves as the turkey’s feathers

– Don’t forget googly eyes!

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Even my youngest little artists enjoyed pushing the leaves onto the glue and moving the googly eyes around, although I had pre-glued their turkey pieces for them ahead of time!

Our finished turkeys will make cute Thanksgiving decorations or even holiday greetings for loved ones!