Help your child hang her bird feeder where she can see birds use it.
Young children may not fully understand the concepts behind recycling or ecological awareness, but they typically do enjoy watching birds and animals, as well as making stuff that can be used for something. Making simple bird feeders from recycled items is an easy way to marry the two activities. While you're helping your youngster make her project, you can use the experience as a "teachable moment" to sneak in a short, kid-friendly lesson on taking care of the environment.
1Pour birdseed into a shallow dish to a depth of about 1/2 inch.
2Tie a long string or ribbon tightly around the narrow end of a large pinecone.
3Help your child use a spoon or wooden craft stick to spread peanut butter all over the sides and bottom of the pine cone.
4Roll the coated pine cone in the bird seed until it is well covered. Press the birdseed gently into the peanut butter, then shake gently so loose seeds fall back into the dish.
5Take your youngster outside and help her tie the pine cone to a tree near a window where she can look out and enjoy the birds feasting at their new feeder.
6Wash and dry an empty soda or water bottle. Set the lid aside.
7Use the scissors to cut 1- to 2-inch square "windows" evenly spaced around the center of the bottle. Use one point of the scissors to poke four holes, one below each window, at least one inch below the window. Do this step yourself, as the scissors could prove dangerous for your little one.
8Help your child poke a twig through the hole on one side of the bottle and force it out the hole on the other side, leaving at least an inch sticking out on both sides. Repeat this with the remaining two holes. Explain to your child that this makes places for the birds to perch on while they enjoy the birdseed treats he's providing in the feeder. If you look at the bottle from the bottom, the inserted twigs should make a rough "plus" sign inside the bottle.
9Use the sharp point of the scissors to poke two small holes in the narrow neck of the bottle. Help your child thread a length of twine through the holes and pull the end through until you have equal lengths of twine on both sides of the bottle. Put the top back on.
10Pour birdseed into the bottle through one of the windows. Fill the feeder up to just below the bottom of the windows.
11Take your child outside and help him tie the feeder to a low tree branch so he can watch the birds come sit on their perches and gobble down their new feast.
- Don't make the peanut butter-pine cone feeders if there is any chance that children with peanut allergies might come in contact with them.
Things You'll Need
- Bird seed
- Shallow dish
- Strong twine, cut in 42-inch lengths
- Large pine cone
- Peanut butter
- Spoon or craft stick
- 1- or 2-liter plastic soda bottle
- 8-inch twigs or small dowels