How to Make a Frozen Treat Wreath for Birds

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) 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.

First layer of the ice wreath

First layer of the ice wreath

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.

Critter buffet

Critter buffet

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.

Working together

Working together

Such precision

Such precision

Once it was all done we put it back in the freezer for another day or two.

Ready for round two in the freezer

Ready for round two in the freezer

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.

The finished wreath (front and back views) hanging up for the critters to enjoy

The finished wreath (front and back views) hanging up for the critters to enjoy

UPDATE:

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.

This woodpecker wasn't budging for anyone. He just settled in and chowed down.

This woodpecker wasn't budging for anyone. He just settled in and chowed down.

Even when the chickadee joined him they both happily shared the treat.

Even when the chickadee joined him they both happily shared the treat.

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