Children love to watch birds, and you can draw birds to your backyard by feeding them. Why not combine a fun craft with a good deed by making bird feeders and bird cakes with your youngster? There are lots of simple bird feeder and bird cake plans and recipes for all ages. Here is a list of various bird feeding activities for kids.
Net Bird Cake
This is a great way to reuse net bags such as those used for onions, potatoes, and citrus fruits. Here’s what you’ll need:
* Net bags, cut or torn into roughly 8-inch by 8-inch pieces
* Paper cups
* String or twine
* Lard or suet
* Chopped peanuts
* Sunflower seeds, thistle, or mixed birdseed
Let the lard come up to room temperature. Cut it into pieces and put these in a bowl. Add the peanuts and seeds, and mash it all together. Next, line the paper cups with pieces of netting, leaving several inches of netting over the top of the cup. Fill the net-lined cups with the lard mixture. Tie the tops of the netting with string, leaving long string “tails” for hanging. Refrigerate the cups for several hours or overnight. Then remove the bags from the cups and hang them up by the string.
Bottle Bird Feeder
Re-use plastic bottles, milk jugs, or cartons to make bird feeders. Here’s how to make one from a cardboard milk carton.
* Half-gallon milk carton, cleaned and dried
* Wooden pencils, sharpened (at least 8)
* Yarn, string, or twine
* Acrylic paint (optional)
* Mixed birdseed
Cut the top off the milk carton so you’re left with a tall, hollow rectangular box. Using one pencil, poke two holes through the carton from one side to the other near the top. Leave the pencil there (you will be hanging the feeder from this pencil). Using another sharp pencil, poke lots of holes on all four sides of the carton. Make them no closer than two inches apart.
If your child wants to paint the carton, do so now before the next step. When the paint is dry, choose at least two of the holes on each side, one toward the top and one toward the bottom. Into these holes, stick the sharpened pencils and leave them there as perches. Tie the yarn to the ends of the pencil that goes through the top to hang the feeder. Fill the feeder with seed, and the birds will pick seed from the open holes.
There are so many containers you can use to make bird feeders and bird cakes! Here are some miscellaneous ideas for feeders you can fill with sunflower seeds, mixed seed, dried fruit, thistle, or chopped peanuts – or any of these mixed with lard to form cakes.
* Citrus peel halves hung from branches or set along a wall
* Coat pine cones with peanut butter (roll them in seed or any of the above bird foods)
* Paper cups nailed to trees
* Plastic water bottles cut into cups and wired to tree branches
* Empty yogurt, cream cheese, etc. containers
Have fun and make some wonderful memories that your children will keep for a life time!