If you and your family enjoy seeing nature outside your window, invite some feathered friends to your yard and get creative at the same time by making a bird feeder with your child.
An empty milk jug or juice bottle can serve as the perfect bird feeder! Once you’ve used all your milk or juice, wash out the container with water and let it dry. You will also need string or yarn, a dowel, paint or markers, and a hot glue gun.
Parents should do this next step. Cut a window – it can be a square, circle, or triangle – in the front of the container about 3 inches from the bottom of the bottle. This will be where the birds access the food so make the hole big enough for a bird to stick its head in.
Once your window is in place, cut a small hole just below the window and insert a small dowel for the birds to perch on. The dowel should be about 3 inches long and you can use a short pencil, shortened chop stick, or any other small rod.
Now you and your child can decorate the feeder.
Paint a masterpiece! Try using non-toxic acrylic paint front brands like Reeves, Liquitex, and Goldens or check the bottle for an AP (Approved Product) stamp of approval from Art and Craft Materials Institute.
Use some twine or yarn to wrap around the bottle or tie on little bows. Kids might even enjoy braiding the string and letting it hang from the bird feeder.
You can use a hot glue gun to attach crazy eyes or jewels to the container and make it really stand out!
Maybe write a saying on the container or have your child write his or her name on it, something like: “Justin’s bird feeder.”
After you’ve finished decorating, tie a piece of sturdy string around the lid of the bottle and loop it so it can hang from a branch. Be sure to glue the string around the lid so it doesn’t come loose.
Once the bird feeder is full of seed and hanging from the tree, you and your child can watch through the window as birds come to eat! Consult a birding book to find out what types of birds are visiting and share this information with your child so they learn about the different characteristics to look for when identifying birds.