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Birdfeeder bonanza

Hanging a bird feeder

The Kiddo decided he’d rather make the bird feed cakes than the homemade playdough, so that’s what we went with. Since I wasn’t sure which he’d pick, I hadn’t bought the supplies yet, so we made a quick run to the closest grocery store. Basically, all we would need was a bag of bird feed, unflavored gelatin and cookie cutters. We left the store with one out of three, and ironically, it was the one thing I’d expected I might have to make another stop for–the birdseed. Turns out the pet food selection was better than the people food options, since they no longer carried gelatin. Likewise, there no cookie cutters in the kitchen supplies.

Since the other stores most likely to carry the gelatin and cookie cutters were Walmart, which makes me want to cause bodily harm to myself and/or others, or Harris Teeter, which is completely on the other side of town, we decided on Plan B–using a mix of peanut butter and shortening to hold the bird seed together, and making them into simple circles instead of fun cookie cutter shapes.

We melted equal parts of the peanut butter and shortening (probably about half a cup each) over low heat, then stirred in about as much bird seed as the mixture could handle. I likened the result to rice crispy treats for birds.

Per the suggestion in Prudent Baby’s post, we subbed out mason jar lids for the cookie cutters. But, our mixture of PB, shortening and bird seed was way too much for the few lids I had, so pulled down a muffin tray and filled it up too.

Homemade bird feed cakesHomemade bird feed cakes







Once our molds were filled, we put them in the freezer overnight to firm up. The sun came out nicely Sunday for the Guy to hang them:

Hanging a bird feeder

We ended up with about 15 bird feed cakes, so after hanging a couple of them, I wrapped the rest in plastic wrap and tossed them in a gallon-sized freezer bag–now we’ll be feeding the birdies all spring! And yeah, I labeled the bag–these bad boys look too much like the baked oatmeal cups I’ll share with you soon to take any chances.

Homemade bird feed cakes

Homemade bird feed cakes

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Friday Favorites: Kid Krafts to Fight Winter Doldrums

Friday Favorites is a new weekly feature on MyOvergrownZenGarden, with my favorite finds from across the web.

The balance we’ve looking for with the Kiddo the past few months is between tech time (read: playing Minecraft or watching YouTube tutorials on Minecraft) and non-tech time. He bought the Minecraft game for his Xbox 360 right after his birthday this fall, which fell conveniently at the time when the weather was getting colder and nastier, so there were less options for outdoor activities.

It’s easier to limit his tech time and make sure his brain doesn’t turn to mush by offering some other fun indoor activities that will hold his interest. Among some of our go-to to-dos are board games (chess is the game du jour), reading and Lego construction. I’m trying to add some crafty projects in the mix. For Thanksgiving, we tried these unique fall leaf candle holders, with mixed results–they were harder than they looked and not as pretty as the pictures, but lots of fun.

This weekend, I’m hoping to try one of the following:

Jello playdough. A quick online search finds lots of homemade playdough recipes. This particularly recipe piqued my interest because of the pretty colors and the built-in olfactory bonus.

Cookie Cutter Birdfeeders. It’s getting close enough to spring that the birds are starting to come out, and we have a tree in the backyard that would be perfect for these!

Whichever of these we tackle, updates on the success (or dismal failure) of said adventures are sure to follow!

And now it’s sharing time–what are your favorite winter activities for bored kiddos?