I HEART bird feeders

A Fireflies’ Family Activity – Gather the materials and together create these adorable feeders for the birds in your backyards.  They are easy to make and mold into endless possible shapes.  Consider using Jello molds, cookie cutters, or no forms at all to create these bird feeders.  Make them unique to you and yours!

The following makes 5 – 6 bird feeders depending on the thickness of each shape.

Materials Needed

  • 3 cups of bird seed
  • 1 packet of plain gelatin
  • 3 T corn syrup
  • 3/4 c of flour
  • 1/2 c water
  • Wax paper
  • Shape maker: cookie cutters, jello molds etc.
  • Cookie sheets
  • String
  • Pencil or straw for creating the “hanging hole”

Directions

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the water, flour, corn syrup, and gelatin.
Add the bird seed and mix until evenly coated.   (I wanted to buy the smallest amount of bird seed available which was parakeet bird seed.   I really loved it using it because of all the colors and shapes of seeds.)

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper, fill your desired forms with the seed mixture – packing firmly.  If the seed is not pressed together firmly, it will fall apart.

Place a hole in the center of your shape using a straw or pencil.   Make sure the hole goes all the way through.  (Placing it closer to the middle allows for enough strength to hold the string.)  When your shapes are complete, allow to air dry for 24 – 48 hours – turning every once in awhile.

Run a string through your hole, hang your bird feeders, and enjoy!

Hang where children can observe many fine feathered visitors
coming to dine on their creations.

A Fireflies’ Gratitude & Service idea:
Why not make a heart shaped bird feeder for Grandma and deliver with an “I love you” note?  Every day is a great day to say “I love you”!

CLICK HERE for more creative and natural bird feeders ideas.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The boys and I have been doing a mini unit study on the letter “B” which of course, includes baseball!  For a craft we opted to do the one below.

B is for Baseball
&
Baseball Bat Craft

Things you’ll need:

  • White construction paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Red paint
  • Red crayon

On the brown piece of construction paper, draw the outlines of a baseball bat with a sharpie and on the white paper, draw out a circle.  The kids will cut these out in the first step.

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My 6-year old doesn’t really need much practice with his scissors these day but this part was a perfect way for my 3-year old to get some additional practice cutting.

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You can see that he was quite proud of his cut out bat and ball.

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On the white construction paper circle, use a pencil to create the lines on a baseball if your little one needs some extra help.

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Then, have them trace over the lines with a red crayon.

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Have your child dip his finger into the red paint and gently add the threads on the baseball lines.

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When they are all finished you should have a baseball with red fingerprint threading.

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After the baseball has had a chance to dry, glue it to the bottom of the bat forming a “b”.  For our little 3-year old, his “B is for Baseball” craft was just the perfect way to help him remember his letter of the week.

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Baseball Popcorn Balls

All that crafting will certainly work up an appetite so in keeping to the theme of baseball, the boys and I whipped up some popcorn balls.

We followed a recipe found on Allrecipes.com
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-popcorn-balls/

Basically all you’ll need is:

  • light corn syrup
  • margarine
  • water

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  • Popcorn

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  • Powdered sugar
  • Marshmallows

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Have your master chef (with a lot of adult supervision) heat all the ingredients minus the popcorn till it comes to a boil on the stovetop.

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How cute is he??

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Coat popcorn with mixture until the mixture is evenly coating all of the popcorn kernels.

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Heavily grease your hands with shortening, shape into balls and set aside on some wax paper while they set up a bit.

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Grab some Twizzlers and add the baseball lines to the popcorn balls.

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And there you have it!  A snack just perfect for the little sluggers in your household.

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Author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

www.fondantflinger.com

 

Little Humans

Little Humans

by Brandon Staton

I found this book working on our upcoming Comm Kids Friendship unit and thought I’d share it.  Perhaps you are already familiar with Brandon Stanton’s wildly popular Humans of New York blog and/or book.   Stanton is a street photographer and storyteller; two skills I am trying to develop.   I find myself seeking out those who are gifted in these areas – and Brandon Stanton is gifted indeed.

For Little Humans he combined some of his favorite children’s photos with a “heartwarming ode to little humans everywhere”. (School Library Journal)

Little humans are helpful and playful, friendly and loving, flexible and resourceful.

They love their brothers and sisters, their moms and dads, and their friends.

Little humans are growing each day. They won’t be little for long. Soon they will be… BIG!

I’m not sure about “heartwarming”…

Stanton’s photographs of children on the streets of New York present a diverse group: boys and girls of different races, religions, and abilities.    I’m thinking the text will not win any awards, but this photo album of humanity is an example of the best of visual communication – an excellent tool to teach how an image can tell a complete story.

Check it out at your local library!

Poem: The Turtle

Poetry is so important for language development because of the “music” of the words as well as the rhythm and rhyme of the word combinations used in the poem.   This simple poem is a prime example.  I encourage you to print out a copy of The Turtle and enjoy it together with your child(ren).

By the way – do you know anyone who has a pet turtle?  I do!

The Turtle

Jack Prelutsky

The turtle’s always been inclined
to live within his shell.
But why he cares to be confined,
the turtle does not tell.

The turtle’s always satisfied
to slowly creep and crawl,
and never wanders far outside
his living room or hall.

So if you wish to visit him
in his domestic dome,
just knock politely on his shell,
you’ll find the turtle home.

CLICK HERE
to download this free “T is for Turtle” coloring sheet & poem.

Looking for a classic book about a snapping turtle?

Minn of the Mississippi 
Author:  Holling C. Holling

The journey of Minn, a snapping turtle, is followed from northern Minnesota to the bayous of Louisiana. The turtle’s adventures with people, animals, and the changing seasons are vividly described, and bring the river’s history to life. Wonderful drawings and maps accompany the story.  A Newbery honor book.