I have this great little book in my personal collection that I like to read with young children after our holiday break, The After-Christmas Tree by Linda Wagner Tyler It tells the story of a family having an "after Christmas" party and recycling their tree by turning it in to a party for the winter woodland animals that live near their home. We don't have any mini pine trees on our playground, but we have lots of bushes and lots of woodland animals, so we decided to make some garland and feeders to decorate them.
We did the classic project of covering pine cones in soy and sunflower butter (we are nut aware at our school, so we cannot use peanut butter) and then rolling them in bird seed.
We also strung cheerios and whole cranberries on yarn using large plastic and metal needles.
Then we went outside and hung them up. During the process we made lots of predictions of which creatures we thought would eat the treats and different ways we could try and see them eating. We were pretty sure they would be gone in the morning. One child mentioned being able to look at the tracks in the snow around the bushes and then looking at the tracks to see which animals came to eat. We are all eagerly looking forward to the morning when we can check on who came to our "after-christmas" party.
I just wish there was more snow to help us with our detective work. Too bad high tech surveillance video cameras are not in our nursery school budget ;-)