Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder

This week’s Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenge was ice cream cones. I admit I was stumped. Stumped until about 1PM yesterday afternoon. I finally decided we were going to give our outside friends a little treat, so we made Waffle Cone Bird Feeders.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder
NOTE: This is a great project to do once or twice a summer, but avoid doing it too often in the summer months, because we want to encourage local animals to find food instinctively and not to rely on humans as their food source. In the winter, bird feeders are fantastic because food is in short supply and they appreciate the helping hand. In the summer, there’s plenty to go around, so let them stay wild and don’t make them “pets” who come to your house searching for food instead of naturally seeking the forest and other wild areas.

The only item I had to go out and purchase for this project was the waffle cones. I always have pipe cleaners on hand for crafty kid projects and I had leftover bird seed from our winter months feeder. Cheerios and peanut butter are always at the ready, so that was an easy grab from the pantry.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder

First I tied the pipe cleaners around the cones to make the hanger for the bird feeder. It was super easy, because the cone’s natural shape slides right in tight.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder

The boys each got a plate of bird seed and a bowl of Cheerios. Admittedly, the Cheerios ended up mostly in their mouths (and J may have tried a few pieces of bird seed before I caught him…).

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder
I slathered a thin layer of peanut butter on the outside of the cones so the seeds and Cheerios would stick. I’m betting the squirrels will be super happy about this treat. The boys could have done this themselves if I had been a little more brave and really entered messy play mode. But I was being me, and I didn’t want to clean up PB-pocolypse.
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder
Rolling the cones in the seeds was a big hit. They were fascinated to see it stick and surprisingly, held onto the pipe cleaner hooks really well and didn’t make much of a mess at all!
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder

We took our finished product outside to be hung. We poured additional bird seed in each cone to fill it up, although I suspect most of this will make its way to the ground as birds and squirrels peck at it. It will be a nice treat for ground-eating birds, so win/win.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder

We tried to hang them where there were other perches the birds could sit on and peck at them to eat, as they swing quite a bit on their own and probably couldn’t handle a bird’s weight.

Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series: Waffle Cone Bird Feeder
The boys had so much fun with this sticky birdseed project and were very proud of themselves for helping to feed the animals. It was a great afternoon of play, inside and out and we’ll be checking later this afternoon to see how much action our bird feeders got.
Check out what the other ladies came up with for today’s challenge on their websites and be sure to link up any ice cream cone activities you might have to share!
Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series

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