One idea was to smear peanut-butter on a pinecone and then roll it in birdseed. My kids made these at one point, and the birds loved them. But in my mind's eye all I could see was peanut-butter covered toddlers and angry parents! The second idea was to string round cereal on a pipe-cleaner and hang it in the trees. I liked the stringing concept, but wanted something a little more appealing than a straight line. So I decided on a triangle shaped feeder - with a straw at the bottom as a perch - and cereal strung on either side all the way up. I had to glue the straw in the middle to keep it from slipping around, but that turned out to be a fantastic move because it stopped the cereal at the bottom so there were no worries about it falling off. The kids loved making them - eating more of the multi-grain Cheerios than they strung! Of course, my own kids wanted to make some too, so the pics are of my kids and their cousins making their own birdfeeders. The birds around our house are well taken care of :-)
There was one crazy sideline from my lesson prep. I discovered a new fascination. I spent way too much time enthralled by pictures of Ambush Bugs. While looking for great pictures of bugs and birds to show the kids (I've discovered the power of taking our laptop to show pictures, because then they aren't clipart versions, they are actual photos and the kids get really engaged), I was looking for pictures of stickbugs and katydids, and found these amazing Ambush Bugs. I am so intrigued!! One of these days that I have extra time on my hands (maybe when I'm 90) I have got to find out how these bugs end up looking the way they do. Are specific ones always born on specific plants? Or do they adapt as they grow to whatever flower they are living on? Whatever happens, they are wicked cool, and further evidence of how teaching pre-schoolers can open our eyes to new things. Can you find the bugs in the pictures? Aren't they amazing? I'm SO intrigued!!