Anyone who knows Mimi knows my love for all animals. This is something our daughter is instilling in her kids as well. I truly believe children who are taught to love and care for animals carry that on into how they act with their friends.
This simple craft is fun to make and you get to reap the benefits of it for quite some time as well. It requires only 2 items: pipe cleaners and cheerios. What is even better is that there is not a lot of help needed from adults. Kids can feel very proud of what they make “all by themselves!” The benefits to wildlife is an added bonus as well.
Having an assortment of colors of pipe cleaners is fun for the kids. Deciding on which color to use becomes a very big decision. This is a great time too to talk about choosing bright colors to stand out or should you use neutral colors to camouflge. It has now become a Biology lesson as well.
Start out by making a loop at the end of your pipe cleaner. This may be the one part that an adult needs to step in and assist. Addi & Max had fun trying to slide the cheerios that were stuck together in different formations onto the pipe cleaners without breaking them. Addi also used her creative side and decided to start forming the pipe cleaners in different shapes.
Experiment with different flavors of cheerios as well. It is fun for the kids to watch out the windows at their works of art to see if certain animals prefer one flavor over another.
Once we had several done we went out to hang them. It’s best to hang them on branches that have others close by for birds (or other wildlife) to munch on more easily. Birds also like to feel secure while they are gathering food.
Now we get to sit and anxiously wait for those birds to find them and start feasting! Try making a journal page for the kids to write down the date and type of animal they see at their feeders. Let them decorate by drawing the animals themselves or have wildlife stickers available for them to use.
It is important for children to learn the value of wildlife in our society. More importantly, it is important to teach them how to care for every living thing on earth!