Barneblad: Christmas Ornaments Inspired by Birds

Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosch These birds will make adorable additions to your Christmas tree.

Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosch
These birds will make adorable additions to your Christmas tree.

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Did you know that the word ornithology means the study of birds? It comes from two Greek words: “ornis” meaning “bird” and “logos” meaning “knowledge.” Drawings of birds that are thousands of years old have been found on cave walls in Norway at places like Bolarein and Alta.

There is also a very famous song about birds that we like to sing in the winter. It is called “Du og jeg og dompapen” (You and Me and the Bullfinch). It was made famous by Alf Proysen who wrote and sang the song for the first time a long time ago. You can listen to the chorus of the song here: Here are the words to the chorus: “Og nå kommer du og jeg og dompapen, heisan og hosan og trallala” (and now here we come, you and me and the bullfinch, heisan and hosan and trallala).

Did you know that there are over 9,000 species of birds in the world? Which ones live outside your window? Since birds are fun to watch and feed, why not use them as inspiration for this year’s Christmas gifts?

Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosch

Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosch

Directions for Felt Birds:
Materials: felt (a larger piece for two body sections, smaller piece for wings, tiny bit of orange or yellow for beak), two buttons for eyes, ribbon to hang the bird, thread (cross stitch thread or one strand of yarn works great), needle with a large eye, paper pattern for bird.

1. Gather your materials. Cut out two bird bodies, two wings, and the beak.

2. Sew one wing on each bird body. Make sure you sew them so you can put the bodies together with the wings on the outside.

3. Sew on the eyes (buttons), one on each bird body

4. Sew the ribbon and the beak on the back of one bird body

5. Sew the two bird bodies together.

Directions for Milk Carton Bird Feeder:
Materials: sharp knife, hot glue gun, white glue, tissue paper, natural materials (small pine branches, moss, sticks, pine cones), string, birdseed.

1. Child draws a rectangle on the milk carton (for the opening), adult cuts out with knife. If there are a lot of children and one adult, this step can be done ahead of time. Leave enough of the carton at the bottom so you can fill up with birdseed.

2. Mix water and white glue about 50/50. Tear up pieces of tissue paper, coat in the glue mixture and place on the carton. Overlap pieces and cover the entire carton. Children who don’t like to get messy can use a paintbrush in the glue, apply to the carton, and then place the tissue paper piece.

Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosch

Photo: Heidi Håvan Grosch

3. Attach a string or ribbon to the top in a loop (to hang the birdfeeder), staple the top of the carton closed if open.

4. Hot glue natural material to the top of the carton for the roof.

5. Fill with birdseed and hang under a roof (if the feeder gets wet the tissue paper and glue will come off!).

6. Watch and see who visits.

Now you are ready to wrap your gifts. God jul!

This article is a part of Barneblad, a monthly feature by Heidi Håvan Grosch to share with kids and grandkids.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 18, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.