The kids found this Toyon plant in full fruit near our condo, and decided to use its fruit and some of the super-sized pine cones they love to collect to create colorful bird feeders. I am always a little wary of kids picking unknown plants, so I did a little research. It turns out that this is the Toyon plant. Toyon is more commonly known as Christmas berry and California holly, and while I would not recommend eating its fruit (especially raw, since it has cyanogenic glycosides which will break down if you cook it), but according to Wikipedia, it was eaten as food by local Native American tribes. Toyon is protected (you can only pick your own; my kids stuck with the berries on our condo land, so we should be fine), but cranberries are a similar shape and color and freely available around the country.
Simple Nature Bird Feeder (or Autumn Table Centerpiece)
My kids made these cones for the birds, but they are very pretty and would make wonderful autumn-themed table decorations!
I have no idea if the birds would rather eat fruit from a pin cone than a bush, but the kids had a wonderful time making these feeders. I’m guessing the squirrels will enjoy the berries if the birds leave them alone. Our local squirrels eat EVERYTHING.
I loved that the kids were thinking about the birds. This activity was also great fine motor practice!
How have you been spending your after school time?
The After School linky is a space to share learning and fun for children aged 5-12 years old. We appreciate links back, but they are not required! Here are my favorite posts from last week’s linky:
- Tissue Paper Decorated Pumpkins from Gift of Curiosity
- Moon Silhouette Activity from Grandma Ideas
- Flying Bats Window Silhouettes from The Jenny Evolution
Now it’s your turn! Link up your top after school activities for kids aged 5-12! I pin and re-share favorites every week, and so do my wonderful co-hosts!