Your children have likely noticed the birds fluttering around in recent weeks as your garden begins to bloom, marking the early signs of spring. A recycled bird feeder is a fun project to do with your kids that can teach them both about nature and upcycling. Read on to find out how to make bird feeders out of items in your recycling bin.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Recycled bird feeders can be made from a variety of different materials and by crafters of all skill levels. Everything from old teacups and wine bottles to reclaimed wood can be crafted into a bird feeder. If you are handy with tools and have some scrap wood lying around from other projects, you can make your own, like one of these wooden birdhouses featured on Ana White Homemaker.
For something more simple and fun for kids of all ages, you can make a recycled bird feeder from a plastic container, cardboard carton or other items you likely already have on hand. This project teaches kids that recycling is not only helpful in reducing waste but can also help create new and useful tools for assisting others.
Start by sifting through your recycling bin to find the right base for your feeder. Milk cartons, plastic bottles, and coffee containers are all great items. In addition to a container, you will also need:
- Straight-edge knife
- Colorful paint or markers
- Twigs or wooden pencils
- Begin by cleaning out the container and drying it well.
- A parent will need to complete this step. Use a straight-edge knife to cut holes out of the bottle or carton. Cut one small hole in the side of the bottle, somewhere in the bottom quarter large enough to fit a sturdy twig or pencil through. Cut a second hole on the opposite side so that you can thread the twig all the way through the container.
- Cut a small flap about 2 inches above each of the smaller holes. This will be the opening for the birds to eat from.
- Cut another set of two small holes directly opposite each other at the top of the container to thread the twine through for a hanger.
- Now for the fun part! Have your child decorate the outside of the container with paints or markers. Use bright colors to help attract the birds.
- Slide a twig or pencil through the bottom two holes. Then, thread the twine through the top holes and tie the ends together to make a hanger.
- Fill your bird feeder with birdseed and hang it in a shady tree or spot in your garden.
A homemade bird feeder will be a wonderful addition to your garden and makes for a great learning experience for your kids. Have you made your own bird feeders out of recycled items? Share your ideas on items to use in the comments.
Photo credit: Flickr