How to… Feed Feathered Friends

Feed Feathered Friends (7)

Travis and I have loved hearing birdsong on recent walks to the bus stop, a sure sign that spring is near. So we loved that this month’s “How To” column in Highlights magazine was a bird feeder for our feathered friends, helping them out while the ground is still quite frozen.

I challenged Travis to think of how he could make a strong base for the feeder from craft sticks. Seven lined up in a row with two across the top and bottom for reinforcement did the trick.

Feed Feathered Friends (1)

We repeated this arrangement for the roof. For the sides, glue 4 craft sticks together in a square.

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I hot-glued everything together (wood glue would also work), and then added a few extra craft sticks for reinforcement where needed.

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Note: If using wood glue, consider using binder clips to hold everything together until the glue dries.

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Next we gave our bird feeder a coat of paint.

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Travis chose black and yellow – oriole colors!

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We took a special trip the store for birdseed, following Highlights suggestions for who eats what in which part of the country. We opted for black-oil sunflower seeds, popular with titmice in our region.

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It was so warm outside that we didn’t even need our coats when we went to hang this in the sunshine. We can’t wait to watch the birds enjoy their meal.

Maple Barley Breakfast

Maple Barley (1)

This warm breakfast cereal is a nice alternative if your kids are tired of oatmeal.


  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2/3 cup cooked pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, divide the cooked barley among two bowls. Drizzle evenly with the milk and syrup.

Maple Barley (2)

Shaving Cream Color Mixing Bag

Shaving Cream Color Mix (4)

Here’s a spin on a recent color mixing activity Veronika enjoyed for Valentine’s Day. This time the bags were bigger and the whole thing was a lot squishier!

For set up, squirt paint into the corners of three gallon-sized zip-top bags. Each bag should contain a pair of primary colors: red + yellow, yellow + blue, and blue + red.

Shaving Cream Color Mix (1)

I next squirted a healthy dose of shaving cream into each bag between the two colors.

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Seal the tops with duct tape for added security, or this could get messy!

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Now it was just up to Veronika. She immediately loved squishing the bags between her palms.

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It turns out they were also a blast to throw up in the air…

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…or behind her back. Ta da!

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Once she had thoroughly kneaded the bags, the colors started to mix together. It wasn’t as clear a “lesson” on primary and secondary colors as other sensory bags we’ve tried, but the visual effect was still lots of fun and quite pretty!

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Here is the final, squished and much enjoyed result.

Shaving Cream Color Mix (!0)