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Outdoor family activities at this time of year can be challenging. This time between Christmas and New Year is traditionally the time that we leave the flatlands of Suffolk and travel north, staying with family friends who coincidentally live a mile from where I grew up. They are the last house as you leave the village, on the edge of the peak National Park, and it’s a bleak landscape in winter.
I decided that it would be lovely to take a craft with us for the children to do together, and so I shopped at my local Lidl for birdseed and nuts, as well as lard, and some hot chocolate and treats to thaw out with after
Knowing that we have younger children, I thought the traditional yogurt pot stuffed with lard and seed would work well for them to make. I was right. Lard is very cheap, and our friends can always be relied on to have a stack of yogurt pots ready for crafts.
Yogurt pot, hole in base, string through and knotted by handy teen. Add seed and lard and small child to do enthusiastic mushing.
Voila. Yogurt pot seed feeders. Close up, and if you look carefully on the second picture, there’s another one on the second feeder, and that can be seen from the kitchen window
The second craft is a little more challenging. Made with garden wire, and oiled string, it involves twisting two pieces of wire into heart shapes and then wrapping string to hold them in place and form a holder for larger food – in this case walnuts. Pictures may make it easier to understand. To finish it off I used plier to twist the bottom wires up and round to prevent there being sharp points.
So the only thing left to do was the getting outside. More difficult than you’d think – this high up on the moors, a strong wind can make it difficult to stand upright if you’re an adult, and there’s a real danger of small children being blown over. Still, we made it, if only briefly.
It certainly blew the cobwebs away! And we deserved that hot chocolate afterwards. A great combination of activities here, for various ages – you could vary the crafts by making seed feeders from used plastic bottles for example, or threading other foods on wires. I was inspired by both the RSPB homes for wildlife site, and my friend and fellow home educator from Lightly Enchanted with her garden charms and bird treats. What do you do to help wildlife in winter?