The alarm goes off, you reach for your phone and there it is—an alert that says: SCHOOL CANCELLED. Your day is about to change—BIG TIME!
So do you let the kids just play in the snow? Or do you mix in some learning time? It’s the Great Snow Day Debate that every parent faces at some point during the winter months. The good news is you can do both.
Here is one amazingly-creative (yet simple) project that will:
- Fire up your child’s right brain functions and get their creative juices flowing.
- Motivate them to dig a little deeper and learn something special on their day off.
- Keep those little hands and minds busy, busy, busy. We know this is very important! Every parent needs a break.
STAR-SHAPED BIRD FEEDERS
You can’t just run out during snowstorm to get a bunch of craft supplies, so we’ve used items for this project that you can find in your own kitchen.
- 1 large apple
- Star-shaped cookie cutter (snowflake ones are great too!)
- Peanut butter
- Bird seed (Or any other seeds you have in the fridge)
- Knife (For mom or dad to use)
- Large plate
- Slice the apple (top to bottom). Keep in mind, you don’t want the slices to be too thin. They need to hold up to the peanut butter and the string for hanging. You can probably get 3-4 slices from one apple.
- Use your cookie cutter to make star shapes into the apple slices.
- Use a skewer or knife to poke a hole in the star for the string. Parents can do this for the young kids.
- Spread peanut butter onto one side of the star.
- Sprinkle birdseed onto a plate and then press the apple-star (peanut butter side down) into the plate.
- Repeat this step for the other side of the apple.
- Thread twine through the hole, hang on a tree—and watch those birdies show down!
Tip: Use heart-shaped cookie cutters for a Valentine’s Bird Feeder.
LEARN ABOUT THE BIRDIES
The fun is just starting! There are so many educational activities your kids can do now that the bird feeder is up and running.
- While sipping their hot cocoa from a window, have your kids watch the bird feeder and take notes about what kind of birds are partaking in their creation.
- The kids can google-search the birds to learn more about them. Suggested topics: Why do some birds stick around for winter while others migrate? How do they stay warm? What other foods do birds eat?
- Grab a piece of paper, some markers or crayons, and have the kids sketch some of the birds that are eating from the feeder. Make sure they pay attention to the colors of the feathers, their beaks, and how big or little the birds are.
Check out these great sites for cyber-bird watching and learning:
Scott Meeks is the communications manager at National PTA.