Toddler Activity: DIY Bird Feeders

Mila has been ultra curious about birds lately. When we wake up in the morning, she hears them singing and remembers that birds sing to us. She makes the cutest face every time she hears them. The downside is… she thinks all the birds are her friends and she wants to hold them. NOPE! If she sees them in the yard, she’ll chase after them. It’s hysterical.

Sometimes, we don’t get a lot of birds that fly on our tree or around our yard. It probably has a lot to do with the two year old that chases them and the big dog that’s never far behind. With Earth Day almost here (tomorrow), I figured out a way I could combine Mila’s new love for birds and an activity to teach her how to help them… DIY bird feeders.

I took my memory way back to elementary school when I first made one of these. Fortunately, I had recently purchased birdseed, so I had all the supplies at home too. As with anything, you can substitute these items with something better you have at home. It’s whatever is best for you and your child. I probably should have researched using something other than peanut butter. I’m allergic to it, but not severely. Mila loves it, which is why I keep it at home.

Supplies:

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Bird Seed
  • Peanut Butter
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Knife (or spoon)
  • Baking Sheet (or something flat to roll bird seed on)

To make the bird feeder, it’s pretty easy. First, I poured birdseed all across the baking sheet. I did this first because I didn’t want to be stuck with sticky peanut butter all over my hand, then try not to mix the two. Next, I hole punched two holes in the toilet paper roll so I could easily put the string on it. You could also just put it all the way through. After, I spread peanut butter all over the toilet paper roll. This can be a little messy. Then, it’s rolling time. I just made sure to get an even amount of birdseed around the roll. For some parts, I had to push down with a little pressure to make sure it stayed. When I was done, I sat them up so the peanut butter could dry a little. After it’s dried, it’s time to tie the string on the holes. Then you’re finished and can find the perfect place on your tree.

Obviously, this is a lot of steps for a two year old. I will say, Mila did try every step, besides cutting, tying, and hanging. The first roll we did together, she helped me put the peanut butter on the roll and enjoyed rolling the bird seed on. When I went to get the third one, the peanut butter was a little distracting for her. I’m unsure who got more peanut butter… the birds or Mila.

She ended up helping me roll birdseed on the last two, but thought managing and watching me was much more fun. I guess she’s a pretty cute boss.

We found spots in our tree where birds could sit on a branch and easily reach the feeder. With this activity, we were able to recycle the toilet paper rolls and help fees our local birds.

Mila definitely understood that the birds would come eat at our tree. She kept watching for them, but ended up chasing them off. One day, she’ll realize she can admire their beauty from afar. For now, she’ll keep running and stealing their peanut butter.

Mommy and Me Art Box: Earth Activity #1

Yesterday, I planned on writing a recommendation post while Mila napped. Turned out, I must have needed one too. Her usual quick nap turned into her and I snoozing for three hours. I’m definitely not complaining about the extra sleep, but it pushed back some of my plans. Oh well.

Since Mila took her nap a little later and longer, she wanted to stay up. I figured instead of just watching a movie, we could do an Earth week inspired activity. There’s a few that I’ve saved on Pinterest, but during the lockdown, I found a subscription box that caught my attention.

The Mommy and Me Art Box is an activity box for kids of all ages. It can be modified for younger and older kids, which is perfect for siblings. March’s box, the one I have, came with four activities and a seed bomb visual recipe. The really cool thing about this box is everything you need comes in it, besides the visual recipe ingredients. This is a game changer. I have a lot of craft supplies at my house, but usually when I was to do a specific one, I have to go to the store. The Mommy and Me Art Box takes care of the trip to the store or tearing your house apart. It’s also all color coded. So, the instruction card comes with a colored dot and you can find all the supplies you need for that specific card with the same colored dot.

The mom who makes these, Melanie, does an amazing job of organizing the boxes, making sure everything’s in there, and explaining what needs to be done. Unfortunately, I didn’t snag a picture of everything wrapped up. Mila thinks everything need unwrapped immediately (thanks birthday week!). All activities are clever, creative, and conducive to learning. It’s definitely worth the price as well. The best option is $33 a month and you get everything you need. I think between having all the supplies and not having to search a while for activities, it’s so worth it. If you want to check out the boxes and want $10 off, press here.

Back to our story…

I grabbed the box and Mila had tore everything open. It wasn’t hard to figure out what went where, but she thought her way was better. When looking through everything, she kept noticing the picture of the Earth and she does this weird thing where when she sees it she tries to eat it. It’s from watching a movie, Pets 2. The next time we watch it, I’ll try to record and share; makes me laugh every time. Anyways, the activity I chose for her to do was the mixed media Earth collage.

It came with: cardboard cut in a circle, blue and green paint, a packet of buttons, a packet of gems, a glue stick, string, washi tape, glitter glue, and a paint brush. A laminated picture of the world, along with directions, supply list, and information about the craft accompanied it as well.

Mila is obsessed with the buttons and gems! She kept saying ‘cute!’ I told her we were using green and blue because that’s the color of our earth. After the eating noises stopped, she pointed to the different colors and I told her she needed to paint the earth on her circle. She did typical painting routine and I think she nailed it. I asked her why it wasn’t all blue and green and she pointed to the clouds. At least I know she was referencing the picture.

By then, it was getting late and Mila started yawning. We cleaned everything up and let her earth dry over night.

When we woke up and after we watched Frozen of course, Mila insisted on seeing her earth. The paint dried up nicely and we started right on adding other media.

She’s never really experimented with glitter glue or a glue stick, but caught on after I showed her. She loved squeezing everything out and was insistent on glueing the buttons and gems down. When it got too sticky for her, she let me help her. We played around with the different media for about thirty minutes until I thought she couldn’t add anything else.

I really loved this activity and Mila did too. We talked about why we were adding blue and green and what they represented. She kept pointing to the the blue and saying beach or pool. I can definitely see us doing something similar in the upcoming years. She enjoyed it and I think it’d be interesting to see how she progressing in her understanding too.

Our little earth doesn’t have a home yet, the glitter glue is still drying… she ended up using the whole tube. She’s all girl and loves her glitter. I’m thinking of putting all our Earth Week crafts where I usually have garland. When Mila sees her art hanging, she always points to it and shows it off when people visit. It’ll be adorable to see all of her different interpretations.

I’m seriously so happy with this art box. When we do the next activity, I’ll make sure to show everything packaged together and lined up. I really want to do a “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” activity, just trying to find something for her age. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know!

Again, if you’d like to look up more information on this, click here. If you follow that link, you can get $10 off of your order!

Toddler Activity: Easter Watercolor Cards

Hello again today! I’m actually surprised I’ve had time to write twice today and get everything that I’ve gotten done, done.

SO the title of this post is a little deceiving. Mila didn’t actually make this completely by herself. I did the cutting, taping, and lettering. She did the painting part and then went to play. If she was a little older, like preschool age, I think she would have been able to do a lot more. The cutting is a little advanced, but I love perfectly imperfect crafts made by kids.

This was her first time experimenting with watercolor. She loves to paint, but usually uses craft paint. I was pretty impressed with how she did with the extra steps. She kept wanting to put her brush in the water, then paint, then back to the water. I ended up painting with her to show her how it went. For some reason, she was feeling the cool colors.

While she was off playing, I traced a bunny onto the paper. I used the same bunny outline as the one she did in her painting a few days ago. Then, I taped it on the back of Kraft paper and that onto random scrapbook paper too.

I took scrap white paper and taped it on the scrap paper to write on it as well.

This card turned out so cute. I actually am going to make myself one tonight, without the writing, to just have a keepsake for the year. If you find yourself missing family or have some free time tomorrow, this is a fun, easy craft that can be made adapted to any age.

It would be nice to send to relatives if you can’t see them tomorrow. Maybe I should’ve posted this earlier, but there’s always next year!

Again, wishing you all a happy and safe Easter Day.

Toddler Activity: Easter Painting

One of my favorite activities to do with Mila is her seasonal painting.

Since she was eight months old, I’ve had Mila paint with festive colors. Her first one was Christmas inspired. She had so much fun doing it, I wanted to keep on going. I’m unsure how many paintings I have now, but there’s no plans on stopping. The wall where her paintings hang has transformed into this seasonal activity wall, which is fun to update throughout the year.

The last one we did was for Valentine’s Day and I was up on the air of doing an Easter or birthday inspired one until summer. After I brought my spring decorations up, I figured I could combine the two with my other things.

Mila loves animals and lately (thanks Pets 2) has loved ‘bun buns’ or bunnies. I decided to incorporate a bunny in her painting and use colors that she enjoys so it wasn’t just Easter inspired.

To do this, I cut out a bunny head and taped it on a canvas. I let Mila choose the colors and where to put them on there. After I got the paint out, she brushed where she wanted to as normal. She picked blue, purple, pink, and yellow. After each color, I had her go play while I let the paint dry, so thankful for hair dryers.

Some of the paint did leak through the paper, so it wasn’t a perfect blanked out spot. After I got it dried and pulled it off, I put some white paint to touch it up. It turned out really cute and I like it not being ‘perfect.’ She was so proud of it too and kept pointing to the spot yelling ‘bun bun.’

She did such a good job with it and I really love the layered look. This can be altered to any color and image you’d like to blank out. I think tape would be easier to use, but harder to make a specific shape. This worked best for us and like I said, it’s not supposed to be picture perfect, an almost two year old made it!

I think this would be a great, quick project during quarantine to do with kids of all ages.

We’re doing more Easter crafts this week that I didn’t get to quite finish up this weekend. We’re finally decorating our salt dough ornaments and they turned out pretty good. I’ll be posting about that, my new gardening venture, and some Earth month things!