Thursday, February 9, 2017

Heart-shaped Valentine Treats for the Birds

It's been a bird seed kind of week.  Our high schoolers with autism molded three kinds of bird seed into heart shapes and plan to give them to their feathered friends next Tuesday.  Most of the students in both classes were "OK" with touching the dry seed and also when it was mixed with the water and gelatin to make it moldable.  Some students could measure and mix but not touch; that's okay, too.

This is how the seed cakes look after a day of air drying--still moist inside.

We ran out of heart-shaped cookie cutters, but I think the birds won't mind.

Either coat the inside of the molds with cooking oil or line them with foil.

Pre-mix the boiling water with unflavored gelatin--I doubled the amount of gelatin listed in the recipe. 
After you mix it together you've got about 20 minutes before it starts to set up.

Sunflower seed, nyjer thistle seed and tiny, inexpensive seed.

Our speech-language pathologist did her communication board magic.

The recipe

It's not easy to spoon the mixed seed into small hearts.  Concentration and precision and great tactile input
picking up the gooey stragglers and pushing them into the mold.

Press the seed in firmly, then twist a large diameter straw around in the middle to create a
passageway for the string.

Scooping a level cup or spoonful was a fine motor challenge for some students.

The seed was fun to explore before adding the gelatin + water mixture.

Pretty cute, eh?
Here are more ideas for Valentine's Day activities:

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