A great dyi gift idea for toddlers

Fun, colorful and a great tool for helping the little tikes learn about local birds.

Fun, colorful and a great tool for helping the little tikes learn about local birds.

It’s a jungle out there folks. And no, I’m not talking about the wooded trails this time. I’m talking about the adventure that is trying to find just the right toy for the toddler in your life.

While it’s fun to shop and even more fun to play with the prospective toys, it is overwhelming to make a decision on what to give. Did you know if you search Amazon.com for ‘toys for toddlers’, you’ll get 60,996 results? That’s a lot of options to choose from! Then, there are the questions you start to ask yourself as you walk through the aisles or navigate the websites: Does the child already have this? Are they ahead in their development? Are the parents OK with plastic? So I got to thinking, there must be something I can do that didn’t make my head spin. And there was — birdhouses!

It was perfect. I’d been wanting to do one for RJ so he could better see the lovely family of orioles that had a nest outside his window. Plus, since it was Christmas, I wanted to gifts for his cousins as well and I love the idea of all the cousins experiencing something together even if they are hundreds of miles apart.

So off we went to Michaels where I found four wooden bird houses, non-toxic paint, jewels, craft glue, fun paper, paint brushes and Modge Podge. The bird houses were small and light enough that the children would be able to hold them, but big enough for birds to still enjoy the treats inside.

bird houses

The project took one night and made very little mess. There are only six easy steps. So put the little one to bed, turn on some tunes or those DVR’d shows you’ve been meaning to catch up on and make yourself some birdhouses!

  • Step One: Lay old newspaper out on a large table.
  • Step Two: Paint each bird house.
  • Step Three: Once the paint is dry, use the Modge Podge to apply paper (follow instructions on container).
  • Step Four: Once Modge Podge is dry; apply jewels, letters, numbers, or any other fun decor you found laying around the house.
  • Step Five: Fill small, separate containers with birdseed. (I used old spice containers I had just emptied when baking holiday cookies.)
  • Step Six: Take lots of pictures and impress your friends with your craftiness!

If you have children of your own, friends with children, or are blessed with a niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild, this is a great gift. I hope as Spring comes we’ll get pictures from the inhabitants of the little houses throughout the midwest and east coast so each child can start to connect with the nature both in their backyard and others’ in a new, fun way.

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One thought on “A great dyi gift idea for toddlers

  1. Agnes says:

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