I've been wanting to be more intentional about doing things together as a family, and I was wondering about planning some theme nights, but I wasn't sure where to start. When I told Monica, the queen of themes, about my desire, she asked what some of my ideas were. I mentioned that I had a list of some things I've been wanting to do with Nathan, and one of those things was to make bird cupcakes (the name I gave them), using sunflower seeds, peanut butter, etc. She suggested I revolve our other activities around that theme, so I ran with it!
The "bird cupcake" recipe came from The Tightwad Gazette, but I have to say they didn't turn out as expected, because they were quite crumbly. I'm sure the birds won't mind, though, and Nathan definitely enjoyed helping in the kitchen. In planning other bird-related activities for the evening, I remembered we had some sheets of bird stickers I'd tucked away, so I pulled those out for the kids to make pictures on construction paper. I also found an ostrich paint with water picture for Natalie to work on while Nathan and I mixed the cupcakes, and I came across some colorful bird printouts that I'd saved from a library storytime. (Sometimes it's good to be a packrat!)
I was thrilled with how the plan for our family night was shaping up, and I saved the best activity for last. Thanks to my friend, Erin, for sending me the link to this fun bird hunting game that our kids LOVED. (FYI, I printed the bird sheets in black and white and colored them in with markers.) Eric and I took turns hiding the bird pictures around the house, and Nathan and Natalie had a blast looking for them. We did it 3 times! While they were waiting, we sang songs that had birds in them ("His Eye is on the Sparrow" and "Rockin' Robin"--those were the only two I could think of since singing was a very impromptu addition to the night's agenda!) and we watched some funny bird videos on You Tube. They wanted to stick some of the bird pictures on themselves, as you can see in the photo above.
I was surprised that all of these activities lasted just an hour, but we didn't spend a dime, and the kids were clearly thrilled. When we were done, Nathan asked when we could do it again! It certainly won't be a weekly occasion at our house, but I do look forward to planning more of these themed family nights in the future!