I typically go into clean-up mode the day after Christmas. This year it has been a beast getting all of our Christmas decorations down and unloading the toy store that my son got for Christmas into our small townhome. I’ve had to rearrange a good bit to make his things fit. I’m still not done, but getting there. I got our Christmas tree out of the house and on to our back deck. It will stay there until Friday, which is our tree pick up day. Looking at our Christmas tree’s bare limbs sitting on our deck got me thinking. Here’s what I came up with.
Materials: Pinecones, birdseed, peanut butter, twine
I used to do pinecone birdfeeders when I was a teacher and students loved it. Messy….so messy, but fun! So, I decided to do it with my sixteen month old son. First, we went on a nature walk to collect pinecones. The nature walk itself made this activity worth it. Toddlers love to explore and discover in nature. Pinecones make a great sensory experience for babies. They are not exactly pleasant to hold (may have to encourage babies to hold them), but that feel helps babies to learn. Next, I tied twine to the pinecones and made a loop knot at the end of the string for hanging. Then, I coated the pinecone with peanut butter and sat it in a plate of birdseed. I showed my son how to roll it around. He was mostly interested in throwing the birdseed, but he did participate for three pinecones. We worked on saying “dip dip” when dipping the pinecone into the birdseed. Once we rolled them in seed, we hung them from our Christmas tree. Last, straight to the tub! Now we get to sit back and bird watch. I’m sure we’ll see squirrels too. I’m not sure of what the night will bring, hopefully the tree will still be standing in the morning!
- Make sure your hair is tied back.
- Shirtless baby is best.
- Have a rag handy.
- Have a clear path straight to the tub.
If you’re looking for something simple and fun to do with littles, this is a rewarding activity. You can incorporate naming, actions, bird sounds, following directions, use of the senses and problem solving. Pinecone birdfeeders can be hung anywhere, are easy to make while bonding with your little and support cognitive development, go for it!
Peace & Love,