As the weather changes, and the thermometer takes an absolute plunge, having small kids who love being outside presents a challenge. Trying to impart the logistic reality that going outside in single digits means triple layers of clothes just doesn’t seem to compute. Then, of course, there’s the reality that by the time two kids and an adult are all bundled up, chances allure of the winter wonderland would have passed and now they don’t want to go outside.
In an effort to bring the outside in, and do some good for our backyard birds, we set as a family to make birdseed pine cones. The method is simple, but there’s a lot of fun to be had. The sweet smell of peanut butter, the fun textures, colors, and shapes of the birdseed mix and the fact that our four year old could do the whole thing from start to finish was a recipe for great memory making. We strung them up just in time for a 6 degree Christmas Eve morning buffet for the cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, and other members of our backyard flock.
- Large pine cones – foraged from your neighborhood if possible
- Microwave safe bowl
- Creamy peanut butter
- Shallow bowl
- Birdseed mix
- Wax paper
- Fill a microwave safe bowl with half a jar of peanut butter. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Warming the peanut butter up will make it smoother, and a bit more liquid. This will help coat the pine cones more evenly and easily. Just be sure it isn’t too hot to touch.
- Roll the pine cones in the warmed peanut butter.
- Fill a shallow bowl with bird seed. We did a mixture of seed types to make it look nice, and appeal to more species.
- Roll the pine cone in the birdseed mixture.
- Set on wax paper to harden.
- Strung up with yarn and place them in a tree or bush outside a window so you can see the birds enjoy the feast.
- To clean up, sprinkle any unused bird seed outside on the ground.
- Keep the yarn up through the winter into the spring so birds can use it for their nests!
Swing by Wolff’s Apple House to find a variety of birdseed options to help your feathered friends throughout the winter!