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Act of Kindness: Easter Bird Nests

Making Easter bird nests is something that started with my mom over 20 years ago.  Mom would gather her four daughters, and we would make nests, fill them with Eastery goodness, add a message, and then deliver them to friends.

The boys love making nests in the backyard with the hope that one day an actual bird will take residence in their mud and stick creations.  The fact that I use chow mein noodles (MOM, it looks like STICKS!!!)  makes this even more fantastic for them.

Step One:  Make a batch of chow mein noodle treats. 
3 tablespoons of butter
Bag of chow mein noodles
Bag of large marshmallows

Yes, use the same recipe for making rice crispy treats; just substitute chow mein noodles for the rice cereal.

It is that easy.

Melt the butter in a large pot; add the marshmallows.  When the marshmallows are melted, pull it off the heat and add the chow mein noodles.

On wax paper, lay out large spoonfuls of the mixture.  One batch will make six decent sized nests.  You can divide the mixture into smaller nests, of course.

Don’t worry about forming the nests right when you put down the warm mixture.  You can let it set for a minute and go back and form the nests to be as picture perfect as you would like.  My 6 year old was determined to make sure that the “hole” for the bird was just right!

Step Two:

Write a Special Note

While the nests are cooling, we write our special notes.  This has ranged to be different for us through the years.  Some years we add a scriptural reference.
This year, we simply wrote:Happy Easter!  We Love You!

And each boy added his artistic flair to the message.
Step Three:  Assemble the Nests

After the messages are written, we place them in plastic eggs and get to work with assembling the nests.  The boys had picked out some of their favorite candies to add.  I was so impressed with their selection process and how seriously they took on assembling the nests.  I thought for sure that they would sneak a candy or two in the process.  But, neither boy took a sneak!  They were too excited to see how the nests would look filled with sugary goodness!

Once the candy was distributed, each nest received a special birdy “peep”–so much play was involved in having the birds arrive in their nests.  It was fun to see the boys act out the arrival of their feathered friends on the newly prepared nests.

Now, of course, when Dad arrived home, he called the chocolate covered raisins, um, bird poops.  But, the boys didn’t even mention a peep about that while we were putting them together.  To them, it was just one of the great treats they chose for their special nests.

Step Four:  Wrap ‘Em Up

I used parchment paper for the larger nests. The boys have an easier time using plastic wrap when they wrap things.  And, it is fun to have a view into the colorful nests!

Step Five:  The Delivery

This is our most favorite part of the process!  We sit together as a family and decide who needs a special Easter treat.  Then, we load up as a family and deliver them to friends!  Every time that we do this, we always discover that someone has an additional need that we can fill.  Opportunities to be kind, to help others, and to serve each other are out there.  We get busy just like every one else gets busy.  It is nice to make sure that we make the time to step back and check on those that matter to us.