Here's a great threading activity using natural materials which not only encourages fine motor skills, but also encourages children to think about the wildlife in their backyard too.
To make our heart shaped berry bird feeder we used:
A length of strong thin wire
We used cranberries to make our feeders as we had some leftover from Christmas, but any dried fruit would work well for this.
Minnie started creating the feeder by threading the cranberries onto the wire one at a time. As the berries were fairly soft it was easy to push the wire through & slide each one along. Activities like this are a great way to encourage hand eye co-ordination in young children, & explore their fine motor skills. These cranberries were a nice size for little hands to manipulate, & offered an opportunity to explore & compare size & number as each was added to the wire. Their smell & texture provided even more to discover too.
Minnie continued to thread the berries until we around 24 on the wire. I loved the different shades of red the berries offered & having them lined up together gave us an opportunity to compare darker & lighter shades.
To create our heart we bent the wire into a circular shape, & secured the ends of wire by twisting them together. I cut off any excess wire so we were just left with a berry circle.
Then we gently molded the wire into a heart shape, taking care not to squash the berries to much.
Minnie threaded some garden twine through the top of the heart & our berry bird feeder was ready to share. Once your bird feeder is outdoors it's fun to keep an eye on it to see if you can spot which birds (or wildlife) are enjoying your creation. Currently the blackbirds & pigeons are enjoying feasting on these pretty hearts in our garden.
A simple activity which encourages children to start thinking & caring for the birds in their neighbourhood, & one which offers many other discoveries along the way.