Wednesday, November 23, 2011

b is for birdfeeder

Today we made bird feeders. I was looking online for an idea that would be simple and fun. Lots of ideas had feeders made with peanut butter as the adhesive, but I have a nut-free classroom and therefore peanut butter was out of the question. So I searched some more and eventually thought of the idea of using shortening. Safe for the birds and sticky for the seeds. Next, I wanted to find a "holder" to be the feeder. Again, lots of ideas online and saw the use of an ice cream cone. The idea showed it point side up with yarn strung through and it looked kind of complicated and also not strong enough, in my opinion. So, like I do many of my crafts, I held it in my hand, turned it round and round and decided, I needed to create a way to hold it to the tree. I came up with the idea of an elastic and three pieces of yarn that the cone would slip in and hold nicely. I gave each of the students a paper plate, a cone and some shortening. They spread the shortening with a plastic knife and then they rolled it in the seeds. I then attached the elastic/yarn holder and voila, they had a bird feeder. I was very pleased with the results. Many of the students enjoyed the messy-ness of the craft, but I did have some comments of "I don't like this craft, my hands get too dirty". It is all in the experience I guess :) I find it important to create many different experiences for the students to express their creativity. This one stretched some of them out of theircomfort zones, but they sure loved the end result, and that's what counts!
(the elastic holder invention ;))
the messy part!

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