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Pine Cone Bird Seed

By Melanie Fleury, edHelperBaby

  • pine cone
  • string
  • peanut butter
  • bird seed
  • a tree that can be seen from a window
  • a digital camera


How To Prepare
           Find a good sized pinecone from one of your nature walks or from your yard. Wipe it off gently with a wet cloth and let dry. Let your 2-year-old sprinkle bird seed into a shallow, wide pan. Also prepare a shallow pan with a layer of smooth peanut butter. Tie a string around the stem of the pine cone. If it does not have a stem, tie it around the top. Let your toddler roll the pine cone in the peanut butter. After she has it coated, she can then roll it around the bird seed. The bird seed should stick onto the pine cone. Let it dry completely and then tie it to a branch on a tree that your toddler can view from a window in the house. Soon you will have birds flocking to your bird seed treat. Have a digital camera close by for your toddler's first spotting of a bird.


What Your Toddler Learns
           This is a great activity for many reasons. Your toddler, as always, is working on his on her motor skills by rolling and manipulating the pine cone. He or she is also learning how to use everyday items to make a wonderful craft, not to mention that the time spent with you is priceless. Finally, watching the birds come to the pinecone gives him or her a sense of accomplishment and shows  him or her how. He or she contributes to the world around him or her.


What To Watch Out For
           There are a couple of tips to keep the project going as smoothly as possible. It helps to let the bird seed dry onto the pine cone before tying it outside. Also, please be aware if you have little ones that may have allergies to peanut butter. You can use peanut butter alternatives like soy butter.


My Toddler Loves...
           My toddler loves to do it all by herself. She uses her fingers to smear the peanut butter and she likes to pour the seed out of a cup onto the bird seed. It does create quite a mess, but her sense of accomplishment is well worth it.


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