Fine Motor Skill Bird Food Activity!
My kiddos love to be outside. During these long, cold months of winter, being outside can be a little challenging – but it’s still fun! We are fortunate to live in a wooded area with a lot of wildlife and our favorite little friends are the birds! We have cardinals, bluejays, sparrows, and chickadees. They’re so fun to watch and are always a certain sign of spring! We thought it would be fun to treat them to a “Bird Buffet” for Valentines Day! Here are five ways to make bird-friendly treats while practicing fine motor skills too! Leave it to The Inspired Treehouse to put a developmental twist on making bird food, right?!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Suet, birdseed, bread, popcorn, an apple, blueberries, dried cranberries, peanut butter, a dull needle, string, heart shaped cookie cutter, small muffin tin or heart shaped silicone mold
WHAT TO DO:
1. Purchase a block of suet. Traditionally, you would just hang this out for the birds to peck at and eat slowly. But we decided it could be a great sensory and fine motor strengthening activity! Have your kids tear bits of suet off of the block and roll them into little balls. Their hands will get a bit greasy so keep the paper towels handy! You can even finish them off by rolling them in birdseed. Gourmet cake pops….birdie style!
2. Looking for more fine motor and strengthening practice? Toast a few prices of bread. When it’s finished, use a heart shaped cookie cutter and cut as many hearts as you can from each piece of bread. Spread some nut butter on each heart and sprinkle with birdseed…..peanut butter toast….birdie style!
3. Take a cup of birdseed and place it in a bowl. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of flour and 1/4 cup of water and pour over the birdseed. Want a sensory twist? Have kids put their hands in there and mix it up! When it’s all mixed together, press it into a mini muffin tin OR, buy a heart-shaped silicone mold like ours (we found this one in the Target dollar bins!)….biscuits, birdie style!
4. Want some practice with bilateral coordination and fine motor skills? No problem! Pop up a bag of microwave popcorn. Let it cool and then use both hands to pull apart that bag. Slice an apple up into rings. Slather on some peanut butter. Use those Super Fingers and put pieces of popcorn on top of the peanut butter….candy apple, birdie style!
5. Looking for more work on bilateral coordination and finger strengthening? Use a dull needle and some string and have kids string together a garland of blueberries and dried cranberries! Have some Cheerios? Throw those on too….candy necklace, birdie style!
The birds will LOVE you and your kiddos will enjoy every minute of watching them devour their handmade buffet!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, grasp, sensory integration
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.