In Australia spring is approaching fast and with the warmer weather returning so are a few of our local bird species. We thought it would be a fun, learning project to make a homemade bird feeder for our garden. After making them Chook declared that they were “Happy Cakes for the birds”.
For safety I kept the hot water in the thermos cup with the lid secured.
This Homemade Bird Feeder Activity develops:
- Fine motor development as he holds the spoon and transfers items from one container to another. Stirring the mixture.
- Language development through using words and concepts like empty, transfer, full, stir… Label local birds. Identify them through colour and patterns.
- Cognitive learning using the senses to explore the bird seed. Change of the birdseed from a dry, free flowing substance to a sticky clumping substance to a large hard object. Names of local birdlife and their colourings.
- ½ cup flour
- 2 tsp gelatine
- ½ cup hot water
- 2 – 3 cups of wild birdseed
- Length of twine
- Foam cups
- Mix the first three ingredients together into a paste.
- Add the birdseed and mix well.
- Double your twine and knot the ends together. (See photo above).
- Make a hole in the centre bottom of the cup. Thread your twine through the hole. You should have a loop emerging from the base (this will be the hanger of your homemade bird feeder). See photo above.
- Spoon a layer of birdseed mixture to the mold, ensuring the twine emerges through the seed, still in the centre. Press down firmly around the twine. (See photo above).
- Spoon further amounts of the mixture into the cup, covering the remaining twine. Press the mixture firmly down into the cup. (See last photo above).
- Place cup in a dry place and allow to dry out. We left our homemade bird feeders for two days (that was long enough for an impatient 32 month old!)
- We then peeled away the foam cup and hung the Happy Cakes off some branches in the garden.
Chook and I have been inspecting our homemade bird feeders every day, looking for signs that the birds are enjoying our project and from the nibbles it looks like they might be!
Simplify this activity by using lard instead of the flour, gelatin, water mix. Pop over to Nurture Store to see how it’s done.
Extend this activity by finding out what other foods the local birds enjoy and leaving these out every now and again.
Here’s another recipe and lovely way of gifting these: Click over to Plain Vanilla Mum and check out the oh so cute cookie cutter bird feeders she made for Mother’s Day!