With the warm months of summer in full swing, nature is lighting up and all sorts of animals are coming out of their winter hiding holes. And if they’ve arrived already, your house is sure to be surrounded by the constant chirping of the birds, letting you know they are home.
So this summer, why not try to make a bird feeder with your kids? You can keep the birds happy and healthy, and have a fun activity to do with your kids as you explore the wide world of nature.
While there is no proper size and shape for a good bird feeder, some are easier to make than others. These ideas are great kids arts and crafts projects that can be completed one afternoon before sitting down for dinner.
Shape Your Own
If you’ve seen birds eat before, then you know they love to munch on nuts and seeds. So why not make a bird feeder entirely out of these simple ingredients?
Start out with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and crushed up peanuts – if you don’t have those, you can always pick up a bag of birdseed at the store. For an adhesive in this project for kids, gelatin usually works the best.
In simmering water, stir in the gelatin until it’s dissolved, and add the birdseed until the seed has soaked the mixture. Find your favorite cookie cutters, and place the mixture into the cutters on either wax paper or cloth. As the mixture is hardening, tie a small rope or piece of string and press one end firmly into the shape.
Once hardened, you’ll have a mixture of birdseed in the shape of your favorite cookies. Tie the extra ends of the string around a branch outside and watch as the birds flock to their new favorite eating spot.
For this fun and easy project for kids, you’ll need an empty plastic water bottle, some string, glue, and two extra wooden spoons – preferably ones you won’t need for the summer!
At spots below the halfway line of the bottle, cut holes in the side that will fit the handles of the wooden spoons exactly, and holes on the opposite side that will fit the spoon itself if it is facing sideways. Glue the handle securely to one side of the bottle. Repeat this action with the second spoon in a perpendicular fashion, allowing the spoons to create an ‘x’ pattern through the bottle. As you glue the spoons inside, turn the spoons so that the bowl of the spoon faces upwards with a little notch above it.
Now fill two thirds of the bottle with birdseed. If done correctly, the seed should come out of the notches above the spoons, continually filling themselves as the birds eat more and more. To secure this feeder to a tree, simply tie a string tightly beneath the neck of the bottle and again around a branch. This feeder will give birds a place to sit as they munch away.
After flying for hours each day, birds succumb to hunger just like your children. Creating these feeders with your children will give the birds a chance to rest their wings and exercise their beaks.