This is a great project for kids because it involves working with natural materials, caring for local wildlife, art, and getting outside. It's especially important to take care of our birds during this time of the year.
Step 1: Collect Everythingit's best to get all these together the day beforeSupplies- Birdseed- Soil (our soil is frozen right now, so we used potting soil)- Large mixing spoons- Mixing bowl- Cake pan- Two cookie sheets or platters- Cupcake pan and liners- A plastic bin/bucket of snow- Water
Optional Supplies- Cake toppings (juniper berries, rosehips, pinecones, acorns or pine needles and other natural ingredients - this is a great opportunity for kids to go outside, identify and collect!)- Candle (icicle or a stick)- Confetti (rose petals, dried lavender buds and dried calendula flowers from last summer's garden and Mountain Rose Herbs)- Decorations (streamers, tape, paper and markers)
Step 2: Make Bird DessertsWe decided to make both cupcakes and a birthday cake for the bird treats. This can be done inside or outside depending on what works at the time. You don't have to make both by any means but if you do, I recommend making and decorating the cupcakes and the cake separately. With little hands it's best to keep things simple.
The soil cupcakes gave Cora the chance to really let loose and get dirty. We had to be more careful with the cake, and it was a great opportunity for her to practice being patient.
1) Fill a bucket or bin (we had a big plastic bin) with snow.2) Put cupcake liners in the cup cake pan.3) Add soil to the mixing bowl.4) Add eggs to the soil if needed (We had to do this because our soil was too fluffy. The eggs helped hold the soil together better).5) Fill each cupcake wrapper with soil and pack tightly.6) Using your hands or a spoon, put snow on the top of each cup cake for the "frosting".7) Add your "sprinkles" (birdseed) and toppings (natural materials)8) Put outside or in the freezer to keep cold.
Break time - do some dancing and wash your hands!
"Vanilla" Cake1) Get any cake pan you think would work best. I liked my deeper, taller porcelain dish because it made a nice big cake.2) Scoop snow in the pan and pack down (we added water because the snow was too fluffy).3) Turn the pan upside down onto a cookie sheet or platter and tap the bottom until the cake comes out.4) Time to be creative and decorate your cake however you want with your birdseed "sprinkles" and toppings.5) Put cake outside or in the freezer to keep cold.
Make Decorations 1) Get your art on by coloring a Happy Birdday sign.2) Mix up some confetti if you haven't already.
Step 3. Party Time, Excellent!
1) Time to get bundled up, grab everything and head outside.2) Place the cakes and/or cupcakes in an area where they will be visible from the house later.3) Hang up streamers and Happy Birdday sign.4) Throw and scatter confetti.5) Find an icicle or stick and use it for the cake's candle.6) Sing happy birthday to the birds and enjoy the outside!!7) To give the birds their space, we went inside to eat our own cupcakes (I made some for us to eat the day before) and sat down by the window to watch our winged friends arrive to the party.
It was magic watching Tufted Tit Mice, Chickadees, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Cardinals land on our birthday cake. It was straight out of a Disney movie, and we felt good giving them a winter snack.
I really hope you enjoyed celebrating with us. I'd love to hear how this goes for you.
Your Woman Gone Wild,
PS. Oh and I almost forgot, while our cupcakes were staying cool outside, a mole came and crashed the party. You can't make this stuff up!