My youngest daughter, Kate, and I first made this recipe when we visited our local science center this past Christmas break. She’s 5 and loved making them, she calls them bird seed donuts!
This activity is perfect for a group of little ones. One batch makes several bird feeders, so you will only have to do the work once but end up with a bunch of feeders.
1.Boil a kettle of water and measure out 3/4 of a cup in a large heat safe bowl.
2. Measure out 2 tablespoons of unflavoured gelatin and sprinkle onto the hot water. If you’re using Knox gelatin, use 2 envelopes. Do not use jell-o or other dessert based gelatin. They are mostly sugar and artificial flavours.
3. Stir the gelatin and water mixture slowly until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
4. Pour 2 cups of bird seed into the mixture and stir well to coat all of the seed with gelatin.
5. Cut enough strings so that you have 1 for each muffin tin. For us, this recipe made 12 standard size muffins, but you can use larger or smaller molds.
6. Start scooping the bird seed mix into the muffin tin. Fill each hole about halfway and then place both ends of the string on top of the seed mixture, leaving the loop out of the mixture so it can hang on a tree.
7. Continue to fill with the seed mix, ensuring you cover the ends of the string. This will see that the string stays put when you hang it.
8. Allow to sit for a few hours, or overnight for the gelatin to set.
I didn’t have any trouble removing them from the pan. I simply began to pry them out with a spoon, and they came out with no problem.
If you are having trouble getting them out, try filling a sheet pan with very hot water and sitting your muffin tray in it for a few minutes. This will melt the gelatin slightly and release them from the pan.
I sent a few home with each daycare child to hang in the trees in their yards, and we kept a few to hang in our yard as well.
We had a ton of fun making these and will definitely add them to our winter schedule next year!