Crafts

  • Since we are coming into the winter months where our children will be indoors more often i am starting to stock up on crafting ideas to keep my little one busy indoors. What are your childrens favorite crafts. So far we have colored varous things and have made coffe filter "stained glass"  shapes for the window. Its super easy to do. just tape the edges of a coffe filter to the table and let the kiddos color on them til their little hearts content. when they are done just remove the tape and let the kids spritz the filters with water so the colors run a bit (it doesn't take too much water). lay the filters out to dry (doesn't take long) then tape them to hollowed out shapes made from construction paper and hang them to be enjoyed. tonight we are making bird feeders. Here are the recipes I have found incase someone else wants to make them too. I have two geletain recipes and one suet recipe (the geletin ones will be better for summer and suet recipes are better for cooler climates because they use animal fat (great nutrition for birds and it helps them gain enough calories to stay warm in the winter)

    anyway here they are

     

    Home Made Suet Blocks

    Ingredients

    1 Cup suet from beef fat trimmings or lard

    1 Cup Chunky Peanut butter

    3 Cups Stone ground Cornmeal

    ½ Cup White or Wheat flour

    Birdseed (optional)

    Berries (optional)

     

    1.      Cut the beef trimmings so that there isn’t any meat left. Then dissolve the fat in a sauce pan over low heat (do not attempt a high heat to avoid scorching).

    2.      Strain the fat through cheese cloth several times to remove impurities then return to the sauce pan. Over low heat add the peanut butter and mix in until it is a smooth liquid.

    3.      Remove from heat and add the cornmeal, flour, birdseed and berries if wish.

    4.      Let the mixture cool slightly to thicken; then pour into molds

     

     

    *** It is best to use beef fat trimmings because it hardens more than other animal fats. Pork and bacon drippings can be used sparingly, but it has been said that fried drippings can be detrimental to the birds over long periods.

     

    Cookie Cutter Bird Seed Feeders (a toddler-friendly method)

    • 2/3 cup of boiling water
    • 2 packets of gelatine (a box has 4)
    • 2 cups of bird seed
    • parchment or wax paper
    • cookie cutters or silicone moulds
    • straws cut into 2 inch pieces

    Pour the water into a very large mixing bowl. Add two packages of gelatine and stir until it’s fully dissolved. Add the bird seed and mix well until everything is evenly coated.

    Place cookie cutters/moulds onto a parchment-lined tray and scoop seed mixture in until heaping full. Place another piece of parchment on top of the cookie cutters and press down firmly to pack in all of the seeds. Remove the top parchment layer and gently poke straw pieces all the way through the seed shapes (be sure not to put them too close to the edges). Pop the tray into the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the feeders to set.

    Later on, remove the tray from the fridge and let sit on the counter to dry out. Flip the cookie cutters over a few hours later to let the bottoms dry out too. Let sit for at least 3 – 4 more hours (overnight is best) until the feeders are completely dry.

    Gently remove the seed shapes from the moulds (they should be fully dry and hard to the touch at this point – if not, allow to dry longer). Carefully remove the straws and tie a twine loop through the holes. Hang in a tree.

     

     

    toddler birdseed craft

    Bird seed, flour, water, gelatin, corn syrup, bowl, cookie sheet, wooden spoon, cookie cutters, measuring cups + spoons, non-stick spray, drinking straw, twine.

    In a bowl mix:
    3/4 C. flour
    1/2 C. water
    1 envelope unflavored gelatin
    3 TBS corn syrup

    Stir until well combined.

    Next, add 4 cups bird seed and mix well. Spray your cookie sheet with the non-stick cooking spray and pour the seed mixture onto the cookie sheet.

    Flatten out the seed mixture

    Use cookie cutters to cut different shapes from the seed mixture

    Use a drinking straw make a little hole in the bird feeder. Once the bird feeders are dry (usually takes overnight) string twine through the hole.

    Hang and enjoy the birds!!!

  • Brinny-I'm so glad that you posted this.  My best friends little girls are 4 and 5 and very into crafts.  For the 4 year olds birthday (last month) I went to a craft store with coupons in hand.  I got her several craft kits-one to decorate headbands, one was a foam cut outs kit where they can make a picture scene, and then I can't remember the 3rd thing.  Then I hit the 1$ isle at the store and got a bunch of little projects, and I got 2 of each one so that they could either do them together or if they wanted to have a friend over there was one for a friend.  The 1$ projects were bracelet making kits, wood painting kits, stickers and pens.  All together I spent less than 20$.  I wrapped each little project separately and heard from her mamma that it was a huge hit.  So for christmas I'm going to start by making each girl her own canvas tote bag with iron on glitter deign and their name on it-iron on felt letters!  Then I am going to stuff the little bags with crafty projects.  Plus a coloring book and some reading books. I figure if they go to appointments or other out of the house errands they can bring their bags with some sort of entertainment in them.  So that is my thought on crafts!  Keep me posted on what else you do Brinny, would love to hear what others are thinking about.

    Happy crafting!

    -jess

  • Well I have been pintresing lots of different ideas to try. Most of them involve resuing household things like  papertowel rolls and milk jugs ect... So if you want to follow me on pintrest my screen name is brinny1984. I have several ideas on there to try out.

  • Yesterdays craft was home made playdough. It was a WINNER!!!!! My little girl played for a good hour and a half before I had to have her dad take her from the room so i could clean up. The recipe is as follows:

     

    2 Cups of flour

    2 Cups warm water

    2 tbsp vegetable oil

    1 cup salt

    1 tbsp cream of tartar

    food coloring

     

    In a large pot mix together all of the ingredients and stir continually over low heat. the mix will start out looking like pancake batter, then it will thicken and look like mashed potatoes, then it will thicken even more and become playdough. To tell if it ready to take off the burner simply touch the dough. If it is sticky cook it longer. If when you touch it the dough is soft and not sticky then it is ready. Simply take of the heat and let cool until it can be worked with. divide into balls and knead your color of choice to each ball.

  • LOVE LOVE these ideas! I have a fun one for Thanksgiving! You can make little turkeys for the family to enjoy. :-) 

    Take a brown piece of paper and cut it out in the shape of a gourd to make the body of the turkey. With construction paper, cut out some little eyes, beak, and gobbler. Glue them on. It's also cute to cut out a little top hat from black paper and glue it on too. Go outside and collect some big fall leaves. Glue them to the back of the body so that the tips of the leaves are fanning out around the edges of the turkey to make the feathers. It's pretty cute!! 

  • Christmas trees are always fun to make during this time of year. You can draw trees and decorate them with glitter, buttons, sequins, etc.. 

  • christmas treed sound fun to make... you could even do a gingerbread version and decorate with green icing and candy... yum!

  • I am so excited to rediscover this post!  I love the play dough recipe.  I am going  to have to figure out how to make this into a cute package of fun to ship to my BFFs girls.  Brinny, you always have such good ideas! 

    -Jess

  • Brinny, have you ever made scented play dough?  I was thinking it would be fun add some peppermint extract for holiday playdough creations!  -Jess

  • No I haven't, but that is ingenious! I must try that with my next batch.

  • I can't believe I thought of a crafty idea that you haven't done!  lol.  I was thinking that there could be a whole holiday collection-gingersnap, peppermint, maybe eggnog?!  lol.

  • Those all sound like they would enable my holiday snacking haha. Still a great idea to really engage many senses with a single activity... On another note i just made a suet block last night and it turned out so nicely!!! I cut the recipe in 1/3 and it still made a standard bowl size block for those of you interested in this recipe. I probably wouldn't do a full recipe after seeing the size of the block i made last night (unless you get a large flock of birds anyway). i haven't mounted it yet, but I am excited for hazel to see all the different birds it attracts.

  • Oh very, very cool!  Would love to know more!!

  • Well we finally got around to putting out the suet block and son far it has attracted some robins. Hazel has loved standing at the back door watching them peck and flap around. For anyone wanting the recipe it is in the first post of this page. I will tell you that I had the most luck refining the fat with coffee filters. I just made a little bowl out of them and rubberbanded them to a clear glass. Pour the fat through the filter ( you will have to squeeze the last bit through as if you are squeezing something through a piping bag) the water will separate from the fat in the glass. I used a turkey baster to suck the refined fat out and left the water behind. Anyway the effort was well worth the outcome.