This week for our Rainy Day Tots we have a fun week of bird-themed activities.
Our first activity is to make some homemade bird feed to feed the birds in the garden with the kids.
It’s a really easy activity to do and then you can spot which birds visit your garden every day. A great observation activity for your little ones.
We’re reading a classic poem along with the activities this week The Owl and the Pussycat and The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat by Julia Donaldson.
So here we go our easy DIY Suet Balls for the Birds to make with your toddlers and preschoolers.
The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson
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The first poem I learnt by heart growing up was that of The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. The version linked is a beautiful illustrated book version of this poem and one that my children have loved.
It has a foreword by Julia Donaldson and she also wrote The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat.
Poetry like Nursery Rhymes and Songs are an important part of literacy for children. Classic poems like this have stood the test of time and are fantastic for reading and teaching your children to speak.
As children get older having being exposed to poetry from an early age they will find it easier to read and write in school as well.
Homemade Bird Food Recipe to Make with Toddlers and Preschoolers
Feeding the birds is essential throughout the year but really important in winter.
This suet ball recipe is great for the birds as the fat will boost their fat supplies and keep them warm during the winter months.
We use a bird feeder cage, like this one to protect the ball from squirrels in the garden but you could also use a coconut shell or even a yoghurt pot if they aren’t a problem where you live.
Once the bird food is in place we spend a little time each day observing the birds that visit and seeing if we can spot which ones they are.
This forms part of our daily nature study and is a great way to help toddlers and preschoolers on their observation and descriptive skills.
If you have any bird spotting books you can also help them with how to use spotter guides or you can get apps for your location that will give you the names of the birds and more information.
If you are in the UK check out our review of the RSPB App for Kids which is deal for toddlers and preschoolers to use.
Preparation for Making your Bird Food
Make sure that you are on a surface that is easily cleared up and can be wiped down with HOT water this does get messy.
You can also switch out the Beef Suet for your own fat. If you collect the solid fat from cooking (not oils) then you can use that in place of the box of beef suet to make these fat balls for the birds.
DIY Suet Balls Recipes for Feeding the Birds
- Suet Ball Holder
- Pour the suet into a bowl and add in your bird seed.
- Mix well with your hands
- Now take a tennis ball size of the mix and squish and squash it together.
- The warmth from your hands push your squishing and squeezing will make it compact and turn into a ball. My daughter gave up after ball number 3 but my son pushed on.
- We made 12 balls in total 6 to use now and 6 to use later as they will store well in a closed container.
- Once you have them made add them to the fat ball holder and position in the garden.
More Bird Activities and Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Make a B is for Bird Letter Craft
- Write with feathers in a sand tray
- With a little help, you and your toddlers and preschoolers can make your own nest box for small birds.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.