22 February, 2011

Peanut free bird feeders

In the past whenever the time came nigh for making bird feeders, I have relied on an "oldie but a goodie" activity, pine cone bird feeders.  I made them when I was a child, and I'll bet you did too.  You choose a big pine cone, slather it with peanut butter, and roll it in bird seed.  Then you tie the pine cone to a branch of a tree, and voila!

This year, however, we have two children in our class who are allergic to peanuts.  So when it came time to plan for this year's bird feeder making, I started looking for new recipes.  I found one here, that looked fantastic!  I thought it would be another good use for my new bundt pan.  (I used it earlier in the year to make an ice wreath.  Here is the link to that blog post.)

The peanut free bird seed recipe called for . . .

1 package of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup of warm water
3 tablespoons of light corn syrup
3/4 cup flour
4 cups bird food (we used some bagged seed, but you can use lots of other thing too)
non stick cooking spray

It was so sticky!

We dissolved the gelatin in the warm water, and then mixed in the corn syrup and the flour.  This makes the glue that holds the seed together.  After that, we mixed in the seed.  I had to start mixing this in by hand.  It was really sticky, and at first the children didn't want to help or touch it at all.  The kept saying, "Ewwwww."  Once they got their hands in it however, it was all about the fun and the feel - and the mess!

After we were finished making the seed mixture, each child selected a cookie cutter in which to press some of it.  This variation on the bundt pan idea came to me by way of my dear friend Sandra.  It was a perfect idea.  Not that I was surprised as Sandra is a genius!

Here are the children's bird feeders, drying out.  I poked a little piece of pipe cleaner into each one so that we will have a way of hanging them up later.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of the completed hangers, decorated and hanging!


  1. ....ooooh. I see you're checking out your feminine side with all the pink! I like it. The hummingbird REALLY reminds me of you!

    I LOVE the little mushroom cookie cutter bird thingy!


  2. thinking of doing these for a class Christmas party craft - how long to dry? cute idea!

  3. I really like your idea for this! I have a question though. Did you remove the seed cakes out of the cookie cutters or just hang them up with them?

  4. I love how you've shared a peanut free recipe. All of the kids with peanut allergies are REALLY going to appreciate it! I featured your post in my Bird Study Unit article. If you want to check it out, here's the link: http://mymontessorimoments.com/2012/02/20/bird-unit-study/

  5. Were you able to find Peanut Free bird seed? There is a student in my sons class that cannot touch peanuts, or food contaminated with peanuts. Thank you for your help :)

  6. I was wondering how many children this recipe accommodates. I want to use this for a summer camp I am planning, and I need to accommodate about 35 kids. Should I double or triple the recipe??? I think they would love it!

    1. Honestly Kayla, I can't remember exactly how many bird feeders this made. We made these about a year and a half ago! Plus, I am old now (according to my children - lol). I think it made enough for our class (15), but some of the cookie cutters were pretty small. I would say triple the recipe to be safe. Any extra you have could surely just be added to the top of the other feeders. Good luck!

  7. How long does it take to dry?

    1. Hi Emily,

      It's been awhile since we made these, but I think we left them to dry overnight. Thanks!


Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )