Winter is quickly approaching and the Aquarium Education department has put together some ways for classrooms (or families!) to get festive with the outdoors. Use natural materials found outside to decorate the trees and bushes outside your window to attract wildlife.
How to Create Natural Feeders:
1. Begin with a look out the window, and then make a map of the trees and bushes in view. What animals do you notice? What other animals may also be in the schoolyard?
2. Have the students brainstorm food ideas for the animals such as seeds, nuts, berries, dried and fresh fruits, or cleaned, baked eggs shells.
3. Then, take the students on a walk of the area to think about what may wrap, hang, or sit well. After returning to the classroom, have students draw a picture of the feeder he or she wants to create.
Questions to Discuss: What items are needed? Will it hang like an ornament or wrap like garland? Is there a place where it may easily sit?
• Use the items to make hanging ice pops with dried fruits and nuts in them.
• Place a string on pinecones or sticks, cover with peanut butter, and apply seeds.
• String items along the twine for lengths of garland.
• Carefully make the orange rinds into baskets to hold water or gathered nuts.
4. Make a list of the items needed: natural twine, dried orange peel halves, nuts, fruit, seed, pinecones, peanut butter, clean yogurt cups or ice cube molds, etc.
5. Gather the materials. The students may even bring in an item or two that they find in their own backyard.
6. Have the students journal the activity and changes outside the window. Take pictures of the trees and bushes once decorated and a couple more times over the few weeks.
Be creative! Please be certain everything is nature friendly. Share pictures of your class’s journey and tag us on social media: #TNAquaEd. We cannot wait to see what your students design.
Want more inspiration? Check out this video featuring Aquarium Horticulturist Christine Hunt with steps to make your own bird attracting wreath!