Our theme was homemade bird feeders. I had Anthony do a talk about some of the different kinds of bird feeders you can make with common materials you can find around your house. I put together I slide show with pictures of: milk jug feeders, milk carton feeders, water bottle feeder, toilet paper bird feeder, feeders made from bread or bagels, a LEGO bird feeder, and a paper plate bird feeder.
Then we made our paper plate feeder.
Wicker Paper Plate Holders (I found these at Walmart.com for $2.88 for a four pack)
Nature Raffia ($1 for three bundles at Dollar Tree)
I cut the raffia into even lengths the day before the meeting and punches 4 holes in each of the paper plates. Each child got a plate, plate holder, 4 lengths of raffia, and a handful of cheerios. The hardest part of the craft was threading the raffia through the hole and a slit in the plate and tying a knot. After they got all 4 finished they threaded the cheerios onto the raffia (we did 15-20 on each piece.) Then gather all four together at the top and tie a knot.
I sent a bag of bird seed home with each child. It was recommended that you should spread peanut butter on the plate before sprinkling with bird seed.
Arkansas Game and Fish has Backyard Bird Guide and Coloring Books that I thought would go good with this meeting. So I emailed the Little Rock office and requested coloring books and bird guides for 12 children. They sent me a big box of stuff! Not only did they send the two things I asked for, they also sent calendars, magnets, stickers, Wings Over Arkansas (bird watching program in Arkansas) checklist, booklet, and paperwork and an envelope to mail your info back in, and plans for building your own Eastern Bluebird Houses. I was so thankful! I gave each child a stack of goodies to take home with them.
We also elected officers. We have had officers in the past, but have not re-elected any in quite awhile. It is my hope that now that the children are getting older they will take more of a leadership role in planning the meetings.
My children were inspired by the LEGO bird feeder idea. Christian and Lily made their own and hung them up outside. Then they grabbed their check lists and bird guides and sat down to do some bird watching. We had robins, chickadees, and cardinals stop by.