Winter Craft for Kids: Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders
By Jen Kossowan, Mama.Papa.Bubba.
Jan 6, 2014
One of the things we love to do each year around this time is help our feathered friends stay nourished while their regular food sources may not be available. We've made many different types of bird feeders over the years, but these, moulded in cookie cutters and held together with gelatine, are an all-time favourite.
Now I know what you're thinking... Gelatin! I thought the same thing too at first. I imagined jelly-like bird seed shapes dangling from trees and just didn't get it. Don't worry--the finished product is actually not jelly-like at all. The gelatin simply acts as a glue to hold the seeds together and hardens completely overnight. The end result is just like a crunchy cookie, only for birds! What you need:
- bird seed (we use a wild bird variety)
- unflavoured gelatin
- boiling water
- large cookie cutters
- straws cut into 2 inch pieces
- large bowl
- baking sheet
- parchment or wax paper
- string (we like to use jute or baker's twine)
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1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons (or 2 individual packets) of gelatin in 2/3 cup of boiling water (adult help may be needed for this step).
2. When gelatin is completely dissolved, add 2 cups of bird seed.
3. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the seeds to soak up the gelatine mixture. Depending on how absorbent your seeds are, you may have some excess gelatine mixture--not to fret! It won't matter one bit in the end.
4. Place your cookie cutters onto a parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet and carefully fill them with the bird seed mixture (this gives those developing motor skills a great workout!) Be sure to overfill them just a bit, because you'll want the seeds to be nice and tight inside the cookie cutters.
5. Cover the filled cookie cutters with another sheet of parchment or wax paper and press the seeds down firmly.
6. Gently insert a straw segment into each shape in order to create a hole for the loop of string you'll be adding later.
7. Allow the bird seed cookies to dry for 3 or 4 hours (flipping them halfway through) before gently pushing them out of the cookie cutters and letting them finish drying overnight. 8. In the morning, gently pluck out the straw segments.
9. Add a loop of string, hang them outside, and be on the lookout for the hungry little birds who will soon be devouring their seedy cookies.