I know you've seen this one before, you might even remember making one yourself! It's an oldie but goodie... preschoolers still love it and so do the birds.
1. Find a few pine cones. I like the nice, big, open ones. You might need a couple per child.
2. Put peanut butter (Peanut allergy? Use vegetable shortening.) in individual bowls or give each child a loaded butter knife. ***Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!*** Do not, under any circumstances, give a child an entire jar of peanut butter, especially a gigantic economy sized one. I speak from experience.
3. Have children"frost" their pine cones.
4. Roll in birdseed.
5. Hang on a tree near a window with fishing wire or yarn.
Here's one for your slightly older children. Popcorn stringing is not just for Christmas trees! Using a needle and thread, string cranberries and all sorts of other odds and ends, Cheerios, fruit loops, stale pretzels, as well as popcorn. It's a wonderful activity to increase small motor ability. If you have a son, like I have, that struggles with writing, take a break from that today and do something fun. He'll be developing the same muscles and think you're a fun mom to boot!
String them on the trees near where your child sits to do school work. Keep a book of winter birds near their study area, this is a good one. At least this way, all that procrastination and messing around they are doing will be educational. :)