Bird Seed Ornaments are not to hang on your Christmas tree but outdoors for all the birds to gather for a treat. In fact, we make several batches of these in the autumn and winter months and hang them as ornaments with pretty ribbons; Christmas for the birds. Simple enough for the kids to make and so fun to watch the birds discover them.
Feeding the Birds: A Seasonal Tradition
Preparing Bird Seed Ornaments has long been a tradition in our home because I have discovered that I love to feed things: people, animals, plants, and whatever else wants to eat. Why do you think God created us to need to eat so often? I assure you, it wasn’t to slow down your productivity. No, it was because He longs to feed us. What better time than eating to slow down for a conversation? We were never meant to go go go without taking a breath.
In the summer, food is plentiful for the birds, but in the fall they begin busily preparing for winter. We like to give them a little boost with these bird seed ornaments. Additionally, all winter long we hang orange slices or apples and gather pinecones to cover with peanut butter, roll them in bird seed, and hang them in the trees with twine. For a special Thanksgiving treat, it is fun to carve out a pumpkin, fill it with bird seed, and hang it on the front porch to watch the birds.
Look at the Birds of the Air
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?Matthew 6:26
I find so much pleasure each morning in feeding the birds. Matthew 6 reminds me that God values me more than the birds of the air and they never seem stressed or worried. Even amid a crisis in the world, the birds keep on singing. Consequently, I want to posture my heart with the birds each morning. I too can be joyful in a storm because my Heavenly Father takes care of me.
Get the Kids Involved
Bird Seed Ornaments are fun for the kids to make as well as teach them how to be good stewards of God’s creation. As a bonus, they can pull out a field guide, a sketch pad, and colored pencils and identify and draw the birds they observe.
Bird Seed Ornament Recipe
- 4 cups wild bird seed mix
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 T gelatin (I use Perfect Bovine 100% Grassfed Beef Gelatin because I also use this for my homemade jello)
- 3 T honey
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Donut pan
- cooking spray
Dissolve the gelatin in the warm water. Whisk in the honey and flour until the lumps are gone. Mix in the bird seed one cup at a time until all the gelatin paste is evenly distributed and the seed is thouroughly coated.
Spray the donut pan to coat and fill each mold with the bird seed mixture. Pat down and allow to dry for at least 24 hours. When they are fully dry, hang them on the tree with ribbon or twine. Makes 6 ornaments.
I realize that birdhouse gourds are technically not “feeding” the birds, but why not create a bed and breakfast experience for your favorite flying creatures? Birdhouse gourds are fun to grow, dry, and make into houses that dangle from the trees. They are great hanging around a garden to attract the birds as natural pest control for bugs. Additionally, decorate with birdhouse gourds inside your home for a beautiful way to bring the outside in. You can check out my post on how to Transform Your Home Into a Seasonal Haven for more ideas.
This video from Living Traditions Homestead will show you how to dry, cut, and prepare your birdhouse gourds. Like this family, we like to keep ours plain, but you can also check out this short video by The Woodland Elf on how to make a painted birdhouse out of a gourd. Either way, taking care of the birds is a wonderful way to connect to nature, learn about God’s beautiful world with your children, and have fun in the process.
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Donut pan for the mold
Gelatin – I use this for my homemade jello as well.