Let Your Little One Play With Birdseed

If you’re a parent of a toddler or preschooler, chances are you’ve discovered the joy (and confusion) that sensory activity can bring. When my son was the same age, a bin full of weird stuff took him a few minutes – definitely more than plastic toys, games, or puzzles could ever be. The trick for successful sensory activity is to find something to dive into, not dangerously choking, and most importantly, not create a clutter that will take longer than the time spent playing. … May I suggest: Birdseed.

The idea comes from L. Pike of our Facebook group Offspring , who tried it out with great success over the weekend with her toddler grandson:

Just give them a large bowl or trash can partially filled with bird food, a few small cups, bowls or utensils for them to scoop up and empty the seeds, and / or a few small toys to bury. The materials in birdseed are small enough not to cause choking, which can be an issue with some popular sensory play materials such as dried beans. If you let them play with it outside, the mess isn’t really a problem – the birds will come for them as soon as they’re done.

Just keep in mind that while it might hardly be harmful in a little taste here or there, bird food is not processed or packaged for human consumption, so watch them as they play and don’t let them have a full snack. …

To be extra careful (and natural), you can make your own bird food at home using a combination of sunflower, millet, peanut, cracked corn, and dried fruit seeds, and vary your recipe based on the allergies your kids may have.


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