Bird watching is a favorite outdoor activity in our family. So what better way to prepare for Spring and enjoy the last few weeks of Winter than with a bird feeder craft for kids to celebrate nature’s beautiful creatures!
It’s no secret that this winter has been frigid with snow accumulation continuing into March. So now that the ground has finally begun to thaw, we are ready to spend more time outdoors exploring nature and releasing some energy!
My son who is almost 3 years old loves observing all of nature’s wonders on the other side of the living room window. And since a love of birds runs through the family, he can’t get enough of them. Every weekend he watches with awe as daddy refills the bird feeders while scheming up a plan to keep the pesky squirrels away. Sometimes he even gets to help feed the birdies! So I knew what craft we had to create!
- Paper rolls
- Peanut butter
- Bird seed
- Twine or rope
- Shoe box
First we spread a thin layer of bird seed into a shoe box cover to contain our mess because let’s face it, working with toddlers is bound to get messy. It worked well, but next time I think I will use the entire shoe box to keep it even cleaner.
We started with a toilet paper roll, and spread a good layer of peanut butter all over it to help the bird seeds adhere easily. It also makes a tasty snack for the birds.
Once we had a good amount of covering, I let my son go at it rolling the paper over the bird seeds. I filled in any sparse areas to complete the look.
We were initially going to keep it simple, but after speaking with the bird expert hubby, decided it would be more fun to add a second tier so that the birds could perch onto it easier and have more to snack on.
This time we used a long paper towel roll.
To complete the bird feeder, I used twine connect the two paper rolls, making sure the distance between the two tiers would be a good size for birds.
We hung the feeder right out front so we could watch the birds easily.
While outdoors, I let him enjoy the melting snow and throw the remaining bird seeds around…which he most definitely enjoyed.
We walked around a bit keeping an eye out for our friends.
Although we were pretty excited to see if any birds would perch onto the feeder, we couldn’t help but notice their hesitation to visit the newest feeder. According to our resident bird expert, birds are wary of new feeders and need at least a day to scope out the scene. And I guess it makes sense.
So after running around for awhile and getting a bit wet, we headed back into the warm house to wait for the birds to appear.
There were a few times he started pounding on the window so I had to make sure to go over a few things with him, like being quiet so the birds wouldn’t fly away and to keep an eye out for new ones.
Here are a few tips I’d recommend to make the birdwatching experience successful with kids:
1. Find a quiet place where you can keep your distance, yet still have a good view of your bird feeder. The backyard is usually a safe place to start, as you can easily contain kids as they explore. If you’re watching from indoors, grab some binoculars. For us, the big window worked well as long as I made sure to reiterate the importance of keeping quiet.
2. Make the experience a teachable moment, by engaging your child with questions. What color is your favorite bird? How many birds do you see? Where are the birdies hiding?
3. Make it fun! Bird watching is a great way to introduce your kids to nature and celebrate Spring, so make sure they are having fun doing it by making your own bird feeder (like we did here!) or drawing some pictures of the birds you see!
This fun activity is part of the March Outdoor Play Challenge. I’ll be linking up with a bunch of great bloggers to share even more fun that you and your kids can have outside! Go check out the landing page for awesome ideas for exploring outdoors this Spring!