Did you know there are many wild birds that do not go south for the winter, but stay in the Portland metro area, rain or shine? You and your kids can help them weather the winter with this fun and easy project that will provide food for them when it’s cold and nutrients are more scarce. It’s a perfect indoor activity for a dreary autumn day. And your little ones will get such a kick out of watching birds flock to their creation.

Want to go further with helping the birds out during our cold season? Provide a birdhouse shelter high up in trees so that predators such as cats can’t reach it. And give the birds a place to bathe and drink by adding a birdbath to your yard. The birds will thank you.

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Materials
Makes 12 small birdseed cookies

2 packets unflavored gelatin

1 cup boiling water

Heat-proof mixing bowl

3 cups birdseed for wild birds

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Spoon

Parchment paper

Baking sheet

Cookie cutters

Straws

String, raffia or yarn

Instructions

1. Boil water.

2. Cut straws into two-inch pieces, set aside.

3. Pour gelatin into mixing bowl. Have an adult slowly add water to gelatin. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.

4. Mix in birdseed with a spoon. Go slowly. Add only enough so all the seeds are thoroughly coated with the gelatin.

5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place cookie cutters on parchment paper. Spoon seed mixture into cookie cutters. Press down with fingers so seeds are packed into the bottom and corners of the cookie cutter.

6. Push one straw piece into the top middle. (This will be the hole used to thread string through.) Make sure there is seed on either side of the straw.

7. Place cookie cutters on parchment paper into fridge for two hours or until they have firmed up, then remove from fridge.

8. Check that straw is all the way through. If not, push through while birdseed cookie is still in the form.

9. Carefully push out birdseed cookies and remove straws.

10. Thread string through the hole in the cookie and tie at the top. Repeat with remaining cookies. Hang on your favorite tree in front of a window so you can see all the birdies enjoy your cookies.

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