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Are the kids driving you mad over the Christmas break?

By Heather 12 years ago

If the answer is yes, here’s a project to keep them out of mischief (suitable for children aged 4+). It’s from Kim Wilde’s brilliant book, “Gardening with children” which has some fab ideas to get kids interested in the great outdoors. The book contains over 40 garden/wildlife related projects as well as some creative ideas for indoors.

Bird Cake

You will need the following:

Shredded suet, however much suet you are using, combine with an equal amount of the following ingredients:

Bird seed mix

Sunflower seeds

Fresh peanuts

Breadcrumbs

Dried fruit, chopped and soaked to prevent it expanding in the birds’ stomachs

Empty onion bag or bird feeder *

Mix together all the ingredients except for the suet. Pour the shredded suet into a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat – always have an adult to hand for this part of the project. Pour the melted suet (again, an adult job) into a glass bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon. Leave for about 30 minutes until it is cool enough to handle. Take handfuls of the mixture and form into small balls. Drop the balls into the empty onion bag or your feeder. Squish it all together to make a big sausage. Tie the end with string and hang in a tree.

* You may want to substitute this for a pot of some description, perhaps an empty yoghurt container, which would prevent birds getting entangled in a net. Punch a small hole through the side or bottom of the pot (again an adult job) and thread a piece of string through suitable for hanging the bird cake.

Finally, take a look at the Bright Cove TV site for a fun, but messy, fir cone feeder!