Each year we like to leave some treats out for the birds and others critters that live in the woods around our house. We see lots of varieties of birds as well as pheasants, squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, and the occasional deer or two. This year we decided to make an ice wreath as it was something the littles could get involved with creating and we thought it would be a fun activity to include in Part Two of our 30 Days of Winter Play (see Part One here).
We started with my bundt pan (which I have literally never used for a bundt cake - you can grab one on Amazon through my affiliate account in the image) and poured a few inches of water in. I wanted to do it in two layers so that as it melted the critters would have snacks all the way through. Otherwise most would just either sink or float and the middle would be water.
We added some treats (bird seed, apple slices, blueberries) and stuck it in the freezer for a day or so. When it came out it looked like this.
We poured some more water in to fill it up and laid out a buffet of snacks to "decorate" the wreath with.
The kids loved this part. We use a lot of frozen fruit for smoothies so we added some peaches and cherries from our stash to the mix, and found some unsalted peanuts as well. (*edited to add: Thanks to a savvy reader for suggesting to avoid the peanuts for your wreath as the birds can drop them into other yards - potentially one with a person with a peanut allergy! Any other seed will work wonderfully in its place.).
Miss M had fun deciding which pieces should go where and how much to use of each. I'm pretty sure she also helped herself to a bit of the treats as well. Mr M definitely helped himself.
Once it was all done we put it back in the freezer for another day or two.
Once it was fully set we put it out to thaw slightly, just enough to loosen it from the mold (a quick dip in a couple inches of warm water helped along the process). Then we tied some twine around it and headed out into the yard to find a special spot to hang it. The only criteria was that we could see it from a window in the house and that it was off the ground so it would at least be a challenge for the squirrels and raccoons!). We found the perfect spot between a couple trees - doesn't it look pretty? Now to settle in and hope we catch some critters enjoying their special snack.
A couple days after hanging it the sun was shining down on it one afternoon and the birds were flocking to it - happily stealing treat after treat.