sons are like birds, flying upward over the mountain

Ethan has been into birds lately. A two minute walk down the driveway now takes about fifteen to twenty just so he can stop and search the blue sky for birds. When the wind blows and the trees sway, he eagerly anticipates birds hiding beneath the branches. He's started to squeal with excitement, to read my own amusement towards his excitement and burst out in uncontrollable laughter himself. Laughter until he stumbles down onto the grass only to continue laughing and finish his search for birds.

The past few days, Ethan has realized that if he looks closely enough, there are birds in our backyard. He realized this after curiously studying the cats when they dive headfirst into the window, desperately pawing at the glass with a feverish desire to get outside. At first he thought they were being silly and attempted to smash his own head into the glass without using his paws -- er, hands -- to stop himself. Lesson learned. (And some more gray hair inevitably about to sprout up on my head, too.) Eventually he took note of a pair of ibis strolling leisurely through our backyard and since then he's made it a point to stare longingly out the back window, holding whatever he's eating -- applesauce, a plum, a piece of summer squash -- out toward the back window, hoping he will attract birds from indoors.

Today's lazy afternoon activity was going to be making birdfeeders to place in the backyard. I spent Ethan's short, choppy naptime (oh, hello, shiny new molar!) researching the best way to go about this craft. I surveyed friends who offered all kinds of fabulous suggestions and we ended up with a conglomerate of a bunch of brainstormed ideas.

These are the tools we used for this activity:

Did you know that peanut butter can actually harm birds? I read that almond butter was better, what with the vitamin content. I also read that wild birds thrive on certain fruits, including apricot. And then it hit me. Behold, a purpose for the pure apricot spread I bought with excitement only for Ethan to absolutely detest with every fiber of his being! A friend suggested the use of ice-cream cones instead of traditional paper towel rolls. I picked up a ten pound bag of birdseed at Wal-Mart for $3.88.

...I also had a crabby toddler in dire need of cheering up. This is where the challenge was.

Ethan immediately took to his job of "painting" the cone with the apricot spread. It was the first time the sight of the spread didn't make him break out in angry fits of rage.

Next, we rolled the gooey cone into the birdseed. I snapped off a small piece of the pointy end of the cone to make a hole so I could string it. That photograph up there was Ethan's first completed birdfeeder. I think he nailed it.

After all that hard work painting and seeding and stringing, Ethan worked up an appetite. He couldn't resist the opportunity to help himself to a snack. Here's to hoping the neighborhood birds are just as hungry.


  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Friday chaos

  2. I love this project! And he looks so happy! :)

  3. I love this idea! I totally want to go make one now. Looks like your plan worked and cheered him up :)

    And thanks so much for linking up with us!

    ♥Nicole @ http://meandthem00n.blogspot.com

  4. Thanks for the fun idea. Our neighbor gave the kids a bucket of pine cones in exchange for helping her sweep up all the pine needles & picking up all the pine cones and I've been thinking of making some kind of bird thing with them. I was planning on using peanut butter - hmmm - don't have any apricot jam either. Gotta rethink this....

    I’m visiting from Hop Along Friday and stopped to say hi. =D HI! I’d love a follow back if your interested. I have a children’s book/educational blog and a blog for peeps over 16+ and talk about books (of course), life, cooking, etc.

    Tina ‘the book lady’


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