Oct 15, 2012

Making Bird Feeders With Young Children

It's week three of the Fall Lessons For Young Children series and this week we're doing a fun, messy craft that my boys were so excited to dive into. We made bird feeders! I'm sure the peanut butter didn't have anything to do with their excitement... wink! I hope your little ones enjoy this craft as much as mine!

Here's how to make your very own (and very easy) bird feeders:

1) Grab your supplies -
    1. Empty toilet paper rolls (try to peel off the last shreds of paper as much as you can) or tree bark, pinecones, rice cakes, small tree branch, etc...
    2. Peanut butter (We made three and we used about 1/4 cup which I measured out into a bowl.)
    3. Bird seed (I used the cheapest bag of seed I found at Wal-Mart but you can use whatever kind you think your birds will like. ☺ I poured about 1/2 cup onto a kitchen plate.)
    4. A hole punch
    5. A butter knife
    6. Yarn or twine or pipe cleaners or wire...

2) Punch holes - I only have a three-hole paper punch (you can actually see some dust on it because I almost never use it ☺) so I carefully squished together one end and did a double punch.

3) Do as I say not as I do - Okay, I thought it would be easier to run the yarn through the holes before we got the toilet paper rolls all covered in sticky peanut butter. Turns out *ahem* the yarn would get stuck in the peanut butter either way so it would be easier to wait and run it through the holes afterward. It's your call though. You're gonna have peanut butter on your fingers either way and the birds don't care if it's pretty. ☺

4) Smear on the peanut butter - I let the boys make their own attempts at covering their toilet paper rolls with peanut butter on their own before I offered to help them. They enjoyed this and there were only a few incidents of finger licking which I ignored (it's easier when I'm not eating the final product ☺).

Logan trying his best but - bless his heart - he started filling the inside of
the roll with peanut butter! I had to help him quite a bit.
Sean did a great job and I only had to help smooth out his efforts a little!

5) Roll in bird seed - This is where things start to get messy but in a fun sort of way. I did have to explain to them that we don't eat bird seed. ☺ Once they got a chance to roll their toilet paper rolls in the bird seed, I showed them how to pick up small amounts of seed to pour over the peanut butter and pat it in so the toilet paper rolls got good and covered.


As a side note, I did try to involve my two year old daughter but she didn't have much interest in being crafty on this particular afternoon and really only wanted to eat peanut butter so I pretty much made the third bird feeder all by myself.

Our finished bird feeders!
6) Hang 'em up - I chose a low hanging branch that leans right over our porch. I could just reach it while standing on a chair. We only have two trees in our yard and they are mature oak trees. If you have smaller trees or bushes that the children can reach then by all means allow them to hang their own feeders. Since this wasn't possible for us, I did the tricky job of hanging them up on a very windy afternoon. We're laying bets on who will find the feeders first, the local birds or the squirrels that nest in the other tree in our yard! Either way we fed some wild life! ☺

This is Sean just after I hung up the bird feeders.
He's very proud of his craftiness!
Fall Lessons For Young Children: 1) Leaf Rubbings and 2) Baking Cookies.

Shared at:
http://www.yourthrivingfamily.com/Beautiful Thursdays

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