Monday, February 3, 2014

A Child's Delight But A Custodian's Nightmare

Need a warm-up?
Step inside Room 13. Enjoy the snowman display hanging from the ceilings and door art.
Seems more kindergartners made right guesses that the groundhog would see his shadow than not.

The recipe for fun today was making heart shaped birdseed feeders. And what a mess we made! But remember a mess is a good sign of a fun time. 
Twin Cities Live show airs five days a week on local channel 5. It covers local events, fashion, fun, contests and fun things to do for families. One segment is called Kids in the Kitchen. This activity was recently featured for kids to make Birdseed Feeders.
The following are the directions for the activity and a link to the show's video. 
Birdseed Feeders

1.Pour ½ cup boiling water into a large plastic bowl. Since the classroom did not have a electric water boiling tea pot or a heat source I had to use teacher microwave and bring back hot water in a thermos. Add 2 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin into bowl and mix well. Add 1-1/2 cups of birdseed to gelatin mixture and stir until all of the birdseed is coated.

2. Place cookie cutters on a parchment covered baking sheet.

3. Press the birdseed mixture into each cookie cutter filling up to the top. Use waxed paper to press the birdseed firmly into cookie cutter. 

4. Insert straw piece near top to make a hole for hanging. Put in freezer or refrigerator for 2 hours and then set tray out on counter overnight until hard. Since our area temperature is as cold as a freezer we placed cookie sheet outside near the building for three hours and then brought it inside. I was happy to hear the tray had not been vandalized or stolen during that 3 hour time period. Check to make sure straw is poked all the way through birdseed mixture. 
5.  After 24 hours press birdseed out of cookie cutter mold and thread twine through hole to hang outside.  
Helper Observations after Day 1 and 2 
1. Use a metal cookie cutter since we found plastic cookie cutters do not work for this project. We placed birdseed in plastic cutter and it would not hold its shape. 
2. Make sure straw goes all the way through birdseed mixture for hole to use for threading twine
3. Thick twine from a craft store was used for the hanger. To thread twine easily through hole add a little scotch tape at one end and twist tight (like you might do for an end of a shoelace).  
4. After 24 hours gently press shape out of cutter and then turn it over to air dry several more hours.
5. Indeed messy with birdseed all over floor and when hands were washed a LOT of birdseed went down the drain :)
6. Only half could do the activity with only 12 cutters-rest of class will be tomorrow 
7. The biggest revelation for me was some kids actually do not want to get their hands messy with sticky birdseed.
8. I just happen to have a Minnesota cookie cutter shape so tomorrow I will make my own.

PS. There is some progress to report. Today only 4 children needed their shoes tied!

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