Instructions for kids' activities are always in purple boxes.

It's a lot of fun to make bird feeders with kids and they can enjoy watching the birds in the garden taking advantage of the food.
All year round, but especially in the winter months, garden birds are grateful for some extra feeding, and there are lots of different fun projects for homemade bird feeders to make with children.
Here are some of our favourite easy (although often messy) ideas.

Basic recipe for fat and seed based feeders

For any of the feeders which require a fatty seedy mush, children can help to measure the different ingredients, and can have a lot of fun squidging it all together.

This is very gooey and sticky and greasy. Make sure you are near to some hot water and soap to get the grease off their hands when they are finished.

Have a large bowl for mixing because it needs quite a lot of squidging and in small bowls the seeds can end up going flying!

Make sure that no one involved in this activity is allergic to any of the ingredients because of the close hand contact and the possibility of breathing in particles when mixing.

Here is the basic recipe for a fat based mix:

- suet or lard chopped into cubes and left to reach room temperature

- some good quality bird seed

- some kind of fruit - raisins, chopped apricots, or grated apple

- optional high fat extras like peanuts or grated cheese

- optional starchy extras like popcorn (popped or unpopped) or oats

Mix these in a big bowl and squidge together with the fingers until the mixture is all holding together.

Add the mixture to any of the containers below.

Pine Cone Feeder

Pine cones make brilliant bird feeders to make with children because the children can push the mixture into all the little spaces.

You can also use nut butter and seeds or popcorn if you prefer. 

Three images in a grid of pine cone bird feeders, one shows hands mixing fat and seeds together, one shows hands pressing the mixture into the crevices in a pine cone, and one shows the finished pine cone feeder hanging off a tree by string. This is part of a blog about different ways to make bird feeders with kids

Plant Pot Feeder

Plant pots make a great feeder because you can thread the string for tying them up through the pre-made holes in the bottom, no drilling of holes required.

Because they are stiff the children can really press the mixture in without fear of being heavy handed and breaking it, as can sometimes happen with things like orange shells.

Small pots are best otherwise the mixture becomes too heavy and drops out.

Three images in a grid of an activity making plant pot bird feeders, one shows an adult’s hands sharing out plant pots with string attached, and two images show children’s hands pressing fat and seeds into the plant pots. This is part of a blog about different ways to make bird feeders with kids

Coconut Feeder 

Coconut shells are brilliant holders and if there is still a bit of coconut flesh left in that you couldn't scrape out, that's ok as it is high in energy.

A grown up needs to drill or poke a hole through before filling.

Use a strong string so the birds have something to hook onto to peck the filling out until there is enough shell to perch on.  

If you have a hacksaw and can cut a section out like the bottom picture, it makes a great perch for the birds while they eat. 

Make bird feeders with kids coconut shells

Three images in a grid of coconut bird feeders, two of them showing a blue tit perched on the feeder to enjoy the food. You can see the fat and seeds in one of them. This is part of a blog about different ways to make bird feeders with kids

Apple Halves Feeder

If you have some slightly bumped windfall apples, you can make use of them here. Get the children to push seeds into the surface and place them on your bird table.

Three images in a grid, of children’s hands pressing pumpkin seeds into some halved apples on a table, as part of a blog about different ways to make bird feeders with kids

Dough Branch Feeder

If you have small offcuts of branches, with a few bits sticking out, you can make this cool feeder. Knock a hook into the top and thread through some string.

Then the children can make a basic sweet dough of flour, fat (or suet) and a small amount of seeds or fruit. The children can squash it into all the joints of the branch. 

If someone in the house has a drill, you can drill some holes through the branch. Then the children can push the dough or the normal fat mixture into the holes too. 

Make bird feeders with kids dough branches

Three images in a grid of dough branch bird feeders, two of them showing fatty dough being pushed into the crevices and holes on a piece of branch, and one showing a feeder hanging off a bird table by string. This is part of a blog about different ways to make bird feeders with kids

Cereal Necklace Feeder

Cereal necklaces are a fun indoor craft project which can then be used for feeding birds.

A large child-safe needle, some sturdy wool, and some hooped cereal is all you need.

Tying one end of the wool to a chair, as in the picture, is helpful. It prevents the cereal from falling off the end while children build up the string. 

These necklaces can be tied anywhere in the garden. Just make sure they are taught so that birds can't get tangled. Alternatively they can be tied into tight loops. 

An alternative can be made by threading cereal onto pipe cleaners. You can then make a loop in one end to hang them up.

Four images in a grid, of child threading hooped cereal onto a piece of wool using a plastic sewing needle, with one image showing a girl in an orange dress working on the project and the others just showing the needle, wool and cereal. This is part of a blog about different ways to make bird feeders with kids

If you want to make bird feeders with kids and want a cute video to show your child what to do, try this one! This fab and charming video of three year old Archie making his collection of bird feeders, from Dawn Isaac's YouTube Channel.

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