Family Time Calendar: Get Smart - iVillage

Kids learn about their own backyard habitats when they create this Thanksgiving treat for the birds.

What you'll need:

  • Pinecone for each child
  • Peanut butter (if allergies are a problem, Crisco or lard will do)
  • Spoons
  • Birdseed in a shallow bowl
  • String or wire

What you'll do:

Using a spoon, smear the pinecone generously with the peanut butter, Crisco or lard. Roll the pinecone in birdseed until it's well coated. Attach a string or wire (a wire is more squirrel-chew-through-proof) to the top of the pinecone.

Hang the pinecone near a window where your children can observe who comes to feed. Talk with your kids about the birds that come to the feeder and try to identify them using a local bird book (which you can easily find at the bookstore, library or online).

Keep a journal of the types of birds that visit. Make sure you look down on the ground underneath the feeder, too, where you'll see ground-feeding birds such as mourning doves, and undoubtedly, some greedy squirrels!

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