Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wreaths for the Birds


Junior Landcare has had a late start back at school this term. Given the awful weather this was fortuitous, Landcare indoors isn't quite the same. Of course the first day back was really awful, snowing on nearby Mountains, raining, and bitterly cold. The seedlings and plants I had brought along to put in the fairy garden were placed aside. Definitely an indoor day.

We had two Prep classes and the Junior Landcare theme for this term is recycling. I have placed a note in the newsletter asking for donations of materials and some great things are coming in.  Part of the problem with planning the activity is not knowing what you are going to get each week.  Hopefully we will be able to build up a good stockpile of goods.

The idea I have had is that we can make lots of cool recycled artwork to place around our vegie patch and gardens. Of course sometimes the logistics don't quite occur to me properly until I am mid activity.  The first session involved pouring out lots of recycled materials on a bench and asking the kids to have a go at designing recycled flowers. I had some heavy duty outdoor glue and thought I could have a parent helper work on sticking them together. Unfortunately it wasn't a great day for helpers, so the glue didn't get opened.  
Polka Flower Garden from recycled bottlecaps
credit  Photo by Michelle Stitzlein. Polka Flower Garden from recycled bottlecaps.

The preps were a little disappointed that they couldn't put the things together straight away,  they really just wanted to play with the bits and pieces and make crazy stuff to take home.  Possibly a better idea. I did have some great creations though, just have to glue them together when the kids aren't there.

What did work well was creating nesting wreaths for the birds.  Wreaths were made out of natural materials gathered quickly at school - I have found most kids and mums and dads love making these.  There is something very satisfying about the twisting of soft green wood into a circle. Into the wreaths we inserted bits of cloth, string and wool for the birds to pluck and add to their nests. We used lots of wattle, which made them look particularly bright and cheerful on a grey day.  The wreaths also fitted the olympic theme well. I brought a nest along to show the kids how clever the birds were and how they sometimes used man made materials. We covered a dead tree with festive rings.  The wind is blowing a gale out there tonight so they may not be holding on to well, I imagine the children will have fun playing with them.  I wonder if any birds have plucked some materials from them.

I have seen magpies and ravens gathering bits for their nests around our house of late, they are very partial to our dogs fluffy coat.

The Olympics may be over but a new interest has been born in our house.


  1. Your nesting wreaths are such a great idea and look very colorful on the tree branches. Shame I don't have any children to make one with but I'm going to create one tomorrow to hang in a tree outside our lounge window. I can keep watch and see which birds come and visit.......

    1. It would be so fun to see a bird fetch some bits from it, might need to make one to put near a window near us too.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young