Making a bird feeder with kids is a great way to teach children about caring for nature, how to properly feed wild animals and how to identify local native birds. You can make a simple bird feeder out of all kinds of items. From pine cones to logs and from toilet paper rolls to orange rinds. Making a bird feeder is one of those projects that is easy enough for toddlers to do and still fun for school-aged children (and even grown-ups!). This is a great versatile craft that can be done with any age, any time of year, in any area. Today I’m sharing three easy-to-make bird feeders that anyone can make using ingredients and items found in your home.
Benefits of Feeding the Birds
Whether you live in the middle of the city or way out in the woods, you are surrounded by birds. Making a bird feeder to attract birds has benefits way beyond the most obvious one of enjoying the company of birds in your backyard. Feeding birds in your backyard also invites them to feast on the insects, worms, snails and spiders in your area. This can provide ideal organic pest control with little need for toxic insecticides or other harmful chemicals. Birds also assist with flower pollination, so adding a backyard bird feeder can result in more luxuriant, full flowerbeds and beautiful bird-friendly landscaping with less overall effort for gardening.
Feeding birds is a wonderful way to introduce your children to a wide variety of local wildlife. Watch your feeder with your kids and try to identify all the various species of birds that visit. While birds will naturally visit any backyard, adding bird feeders and different types of food will attract more and unique species: from cardinals to hummingbirds, robins to sparrows, chickadees to woodpeckers.Here are a couple ways kids can study the birds:
- Make a checklist of the birds you see or take photos of each bird.
- Identify them in a book or online.
- Draw pictures of them in a nature journal.
- Take notice of the different colors, songs and behaviors of each type of bird.
Apple Core Bird Feeders
Making a bird feeder from an apple couldn’t be easier and is a perfect project for little kids. Instead of throwing out apples that have bad spots in them or are past their ripeness level, use them to make bird feeder. All you need to do is cut your apple in half, use a spoon to scoop out the core and seeds and then stuff the hole with a mixture of bird seed and peanut butter. I hang them from tree branches in our backyard using twine.
Orange Peel Bird Feeders
Another super simple bird feeder can be made from using the peel of an orange. Instead of throwing out that peel after you eat an orange, use it as a bird feeder. Orange peels make great natural bowls, which you can fill with seeds, fruits or nuts. To hang, just poke four holes in the rind of an orange. Then thread twine through the holes to create a hanging basket. Hang from a branch or on a bush. Your kids can easily fill the bowls with birdseed. The great thing about these feeders is that they last a long time outside. They can be refilled over and over until they disintegrate. The birds and squirrels usually don’t eat the orange rinds like they do the apple cores.
Bundt Pan Bird Feeder Wreath
Out of the three different feeders in this post, this one is definitely the most involved and elaborate. This project is better suited for school-aged children that follow directions or those learning how to measure. Start by adding your largest items to the bottom of a Bundt pan. We used dried cranberries, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
In order to solidify the large ingredients, mix 1/2 cup of gelatin with 1/2 cup of warm water and pour over the large seeds and fruits. In a separate bowl, mix 3 cups of birdseed with 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Spread the birdseed on top of the large seeds in the Bundt pan and press down firmly to compact. Refrigerate overnight to solidify.
Once the wreath is solid, remove from the Bundt pan and hang with twine. If your wreath isn’t sturdy enough to hang (our first one wasn’t), you can place it on a plate on a table/bench in your yard. Our birds didn’t seem to mind that they had to eat off the table, although it was much harder keeping the squirrels away!