Outdoor Crafts and Activities Archives - Page 2 of 3 - A Crafty Spoonful

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder: After School Activities for Kids

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 In sponsorship with Tree Top, I’m sharing a DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder tutorial and talking about how I keep the kids entertained outdoors in the afternoons.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder

We love finding fun ways to spruce up our outdoor living areas in our new home and are slowly adding all of the things we came to love at our old house. This April we’re planning on building some garden beds to go along with the fruit trees that came with our new home. We loved having our garden beds at the old house and even though we have a plot at the community garden still, we’re missing the ease in walking out our door to pick fresh veggies and herbs. And the kids are missing their bug hunts.

While we wait for my husband to figure out exactly how he wants to construct our new beds, the kids and I are doing a few projects of our own. Including making a few bird feeders for the local birds to enjoy. One thing we love about our new home is the constant chatter of birds we hear outside our windows.

Afternoons are the perfect times for us to do this because it keeps the kids from whining about using the iPads and watching TV. Keeping the kids entertained and busy after we get home from school can sometimes be a chore. But if it’s something they can do outside then they’re all for it!

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - a quick and easy DIY project for kids

The kids love watching the birds come to feed in our yard as we play outside. They love it even more when the birds start to take advantage of the bird houses we made for them a few months back.

And it keeps our new chicks entertained as they watch the local birds come out to eat while they peck around underneath them. The chicks love the treats they find in the leftover bird seed that’s strewn down from the feeders.

Now when the kids come home they run out to check the feeders and make sure they’re full, then they let the chicks out to play in the yard. Then the kids are ready for their afternoon snack. Nothing a Tree Top Apple Sauce pouch can’t handle!

Want to make some bird feeders of your own? Here’s how!

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder

Inspired by this tutorial from KidsGardening.org

What you need:

  • half gallon milk or juice carton with cap, washed out and dried
  • sharp knife (to be used by an adult)
  • paint stir stick or dowel/rod
  • twine or string
  • wild bird seed

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - supplies needed

What you do:

1. Make a cut in the corner of the milk carton about 2-3 inches from the bottom. Cut out about 1 inch from the corner in each direction. Repeat on the opposite corner.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - cut milk carton

2. Let your child press inward on the cut to create a triangle punch in the milk carton. This is where the bird feed will be added and where the birds will eat from.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - create bird feed opening

3. Add a small 1 inch cut on either side of the milk carton about 1 inch from the bottom to slide the stir stick in. Slide the stir stick in on one side and out the other. Make sure each side is sticking out evenly. This will be the bird’s perch so they can sit and eat the seed.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - add stir stick

4. Using the knife, punch a hole at the top of the milk carton and let your child thread through some twine or string. The length you’ll cut it depends on the place you’re hanging the feeder from.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - thread twine on top

5. Let your child add the bird feed in. Make sure to fill it to the opening line so that the birds have access and can see the bird feed. When filling you can either fill from the sides as we’re doing or get a funnel and fill from the spout at the top. Expect some spillage.

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - adding bird seed

6. Hang the bird feeder where it will be easy to watch the birds that come to eat.

Tips from KidsGardening.org: Place it about 10 feet from plants such as evergreens or dense shrubs that can provide birds with easily accessible cover from predators. But don’t place the feeder closer than 10 feet to avoid giving neighborhood cats a hiding place from which they can wait to ambush visiting birds.  Also try to choose a spot that is sheltered from winter winds.

Now it’s time for that afternoon snack!

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder - Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches

I’m excited to share that Tree Top is teaming up with KidsGardening.org to build gardens in communities across the country, helping children to understand the value in caring for the land and connecting with the food they eat. And you can help! For every Tree Top Apple Sauce Pouches product purchased, Tree Top will donate a dollar to help fund community garden projects and raise good apples across the country.

Looking for some great ways to get the kids in the garden or keep them active with fun activities? Check out the great ideas KidsGardening.org has on their site. As we start up our garden beds again at our new home I’m sure we’ll be heading back to this great resource for tips and tricks. Another great idea are these DIY Cardboard Seedling Starters to get started. 

We truly believe in the importance of teaching our children where their food comes from and how they can grow it. They learn so much by staying hands on in the garden (can you tell that my son loves to be hands on? This boy is ALWAYS dirty!) whether it’s in the community garden, at their school’s garden, or at home in our own back yard. 

DIY Milk Carton Bird Feeder After School Activities for Kids - large

 

Do you have a garden in your back yard?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tree Top.

Great Tips for Gardening With Kids

Gardening with Kids

We’re starting to plan what we’re going to plant in our raised bed for spring right now and can’t wait to get our hands dirty. One of the best parts about gardening, for me, is the fact that the kids get involved in every step from planning, planting, and growing.

Over the years of gardening with them I’ve come to find that gardening with kids isn’t as hard as it sounds. In fact, it can be quite fun! The bonding we do over our garden has deepend our relationship and has acted as a teaching tool for life lessons.

Below are some great tips for gardening with kids that you can use if you’re just starting or have been gardening with your kids for a while.  [Read more…]

DIY Fruit Juice Dyed Watermelon Windsock

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This #KoolOff shop featuring a DIY Fruit Juice Dyed Watermelon Windsock tutorial has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

DIY Fruit Juice Dyed Watermelon Windsock

We are in the midst of a heat wave and the only thing we can think about these days is summer. But since we’re still in spring we’re doing a bit of summer prep. While working on our garden the kids decided they wanted to plant watermelon this year so I headed to the store to pick up some watermelon seeds.

While we were shopping at Walmart I ended up in the fruit juice aisle – trying to kill two birds with one stone and getting everything off my list. I noticed the larger ready-to-drink Kool-Aid bottles and grabbed some Tropical Punch to help me cool off while I was gardening. [Read more…]

Growing Healthy Eaters and Snap Peas from Seed

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.

Growing Healthy Eaters and Snap Peas from Seed

My son is obsessed with the outdoors. He’s the ultimate bug catching, fossil digging, mud puddle making boy. It’s pretty hard to get him indoors so we try our best to keep him busy. Since I started up our garden beds again he’s been begging to plant his favorite snap peas in the front yard. How can a mother say no? And growing snap peas from seed is fairly easy.

I handed him a trowel, some gloves, some Miracle-Gro Organic garden soil, and some snap pea seeds. And what he did next was pretty darn awesome. Not only did he plant the seeds, but he proceeded to water them daily, check them for bugs, and give me progress reports on their growth.

This experience definitely made me one happy and proud mama. He’s learning how to grow his own food and he’s requesting more and more variety in the seeds he plants. [Read more…]

Gardening With Kids: Creating a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

Want to attract more butterflies to your yard? By creating a butterfly garden, you allow the butterflies to have a space to eat, rest, and flutter around so they feel comfortable fluttering about throughout the year! 

Gardening With Kids

Gardening with kids has come to be one of my favorite hobbies these days. Not only does it give me much needed momma time with my two little ones, it also is a great way to teach them new and wonderful things.

I’ve also found that while we spend time gardening, we’re also growing something greater. We’re growing an amazing bond and a safe place for them to come and talk to me about just about everything. 

When the family and I headed to the store last week we saw some awesome 5-gallon lavender plants among a few other plants they were selling.

As soon as I saw them I immediately when to go scout them out and found one I loved. My husband already knew I was on the hunt for a lavender plant to help entice the butterflies to come visit more often.

Gardening with Kids lavender plant

We also have some kangaroo paw and other flowering plants that do so as well. But I love the smell of lavender and had to have a place for it. There are some great plants to bring into your yard to entice the butterflies to visit. Here are a few to check out: 

Butterfly-Friendly Plants For Your Garden

Attracting Caterpillars

  • Borage
  • Cilantro*
  • Fennel*
  • Grasses
  • Hollyhocks
  • Lupine
  • Milkweed
  • Nettle
  • Thistle

Attracting Butterflies

  • Alyssum
  • Aster
  • Bee balm
  • Butterfly bush
  • Calendula
  • Cosmos
  • Daylily
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Fennel*
  • Globe thistle
  • Goldenrod
  • Hollyhock
  • Lavender*
  • Liatris
  • Marigold
  • Musk mallow
  • Nasturtium
  • Oregano*
  • Phlox
  • Purple coneflower
  • Queen Anne’s lace
  • Sage*
  • Scabiosa
  • Shasta daisy
  • Stonecrop
  • Verbena*
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnia

*these plants are edible

Gardening with Kids pulling out the lavender plant

When we got home I asked my son if he wanted to help me plant it. He jumped at the opportunity to get dirty and quickly helped me take the lavender plant out of it’s container and plant it inside a wine barrel we had just filled with dirt.

It was the perfect task for him since it involved digging in dirt, and watering afterwards. Dirt + water = mud and mud makes my son very happy.

Once we were done we stepped back and marveled at what we had just done together. I now have a lavender plant and my son has a new place to look for beautiful butterflies.

Gardening with Kids planting lavender in a wine barrel

Being able to get my hands dirty with my son and grow these memories and experiences are something I’ll treasure forever.

It’s more than just that lavender plant. It’s the bond I’m forming with my son while tending to that lavender plant.

It’s the moments we share watching the butterflies flitter in our yard and land on one of the plants. It’s seeing a caterpillar make a cocoon and watching a butterfly emerge.

Gardening with Kids lavender butterfly garden

Our ferns, kangaroo paw, and other ornamental plants in our yard have bloomed beautifully with a little love from the kids. And I’m sure this lavender plant will as well!

How do you Grow Something Greater?

Love to garden? Read on! 

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5 Easy Herbs to Grow In The Garden and Use In The Kitchen

If you’re looking for a few easy things to grow, whether in a raised bed or container garden, I highly suggest checking out these 5 easy herbs to grow in the garden. Best part? They’re perfect to use in the kitchen! 

5 Easy Herbs to Grow In The Garden

When I’m considering what to put in my raised beds and vertical gardens there’s one thing I always think about. How will I incorporate these plants into my everyday cooking? So I’ve tried to stick with easy herbs to grow in the garden.

The 5 herbs listed below are the easiest ones I’ve worked with here in San Diego and have required little more than regular watering and a little pruning every now and then (my basil). Some of these herbs even create great flowers when you let them attract bees over to help pollinate and do their thing.

If you’re looking for a few easy things to grow, whether in a raised bed or container garden, I highly suggest checking out these herbs.

[Read more…]

Someday I’ll Learn: Bugs in the Garden

Bugs In The Garden

After figuring out what you want to plant in the garden with your kids, consider what to look out for. Including the bugs in the garden.

I’ve shared some great bugs to look out for in your garden over at Someday I’ll Learn. Find out what you want to keep… and what you don’t!

Pinterest Inspiration

How to Grow Carrots with Kids {From Garden to Table}

Learn how to grow carrots with kids and see how easy gardening with kids is! All it takes is some patience, sun, water, and love. 

How to Grow Carrots with Kids

One of my kids favorite veggies is carrots. So figuring out how to grow carrots with kids was one of my top priorities when we started gardening.

Lucky for me, growing carrots is one of the easiest things to do. Not too many pests to worry about – unless you have four-legged critters like bunnies, squirrels, and deer – and take anywhere from 60-75 days to grow.

Plus, the kids LOVE watching the tops grow taller and I like how green and pretty it makes the garden bed look. [Read more…]

Someday I’ll Learn: Kid Friendly Gardening Ideas

The sun is shining, spring is almost here, and the kids are aching to get in the dirt! For us that means one thing… planning out our spring garden beds.

kid friendly gardening ideas

Are you planning your garden yet?

Why not get the kids involved with these great tips featured on Someday I’ll Learn.

Pinterest Inspiration

5 Great Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids

Ways to Get Outdoors With Kids

Now that summer is here we’re making our “must do” lists for what we want to to do this summer. And in creating this list we’ve looked back at the other fun things we’ve done with our summers in the past. And most of them seem to involve being outdoors.

I think that getting outdoors with kids is a very important part of summer fun. And having a few activities in our back pocket to bring out and do with our kids might kick start that summer fun.

Below is a list of 5 great ways to get outdoors with kids this summer. I’d love to hear your ideas as well!

[Read more…]



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