A fun way to incorporate different sensory experiences, including food experiences, is to make pine cone bird feeders. I have three different types to make that each utilize a slightly different sensory experience.
To start with, you attach a pipe cleaner to the top of the pine cone in order to hang the pine cone when done. The first one is made by spreading peanut butter (or sun butter) all over a pine cone. Then you roll the pine cone in bird seed, or scoop the bird seed with your hands and squish it all over the peanut butter. Now it is ready to hang in the trees for the birds.
The second bird feeder is made with the peanut butter (sun butter) and cornmeal mixed in. You mix the cornmeal into the peanut butter until it is a consistency that sticks together, but not to your hands. You can then mold it and add other bird treats to it, such as dried fruit, nuts, seeds, orange peel, and fruit. Then you roll it into balls and push it into the spaces of your pine cone. It is then ready to be hung in a tree for the birds.
The final bird feeder is made with fruit. You cut up fresh fruit into small pieces. We used peaches and strawberries, but you could use many different types of fruit. You take the pieces of fruit and push them into the spaces in the pine cone until it is filled. You can add dried fruit as well. Once it is filled, it is ready to be hung in the trees for the birds as well.
When I make these with kids who don’t like to touch certain textures, they are more willing to touch them since we are making them for the birds. It is important to not expect the kids to eat the ingredients, but it is ok to encourage some tastes, and often kids will taste the peanut butter and the fruit either on their own or accidentally. Incorporating food into craft activities is a good way to get kids who are resistant eaters to interact with food and to taste some different types of food.
- peanut butter (or sun butter)
- bird seed
- corn meal
- dried fruit
- fresh fruit
- fine motor
- Peanut butter (or sun butter)
- Bird seed
- Corn meal
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruit
- Fine motor