Milk Carton Bird Feeder
If you have a young naturalist at home, spark their creativity and love of animals with this DIY bird feeder. It’s a quick and easy project that will lead to hours of fun birdwatching.
What You’ll Need
- An empty paper milk carton (half gallon size)
- Acrylic paint
- Wooden dowel, skewer or stick
- 3D decorations- like buttons or twigs! (optional)
- A glue gun (optional)
- Bird seed
What You’ll Do
- Cut a “window” out on two opposite sides of the milk carton. The window could be rectangle, circle or any other shape large enough for a bird to comfortably access the bird seed through.
- Poke a hole into the container below the cutout window and through to the other side of the carton. Later, you’ll poke a stick through these holes, which will serve as a perch for birds.
- Paint the carton using acrylic paint. (Parents. You may need to use a primer on the carton first to cover up dark colors or lots of writing)
- Once the paint is dry, decorate the carton. Use a glue gun to attach buttons, twigs and twine. Or, draw a picture with markers or more paint.
- Push the wooden dowel or stick through the pre-made holes near the bottom of the bird feeder.
- Punch a hole through the top of the carton and thread a string through. Tie it to a tree branch where it is visible.
- Fill the feeder with bird seed. Sit back and enjoy watching the birds that come to visit.
- Try a log of all the birds you see at your bird feeder. Use it as an opportunity to learn about local birds. If you aren’t confident in your bird-identifying abilities, print out a visual list of common birds in your area. This is a great way for younger kids to get involved. Sharpen observational and creative skills by keeping a naturalist sketchbooks. Do the vibrant colors of a blue jay catch your child’s eye? Encourage them to capture it on paper.
What Kids Learn
How to Support the Play
- In addition to comments like “good job” and “you did it,” describe what a child is doing and how they did it. “I see how you made the tower taller by adding another block.”
- Focus more on the doing, less on the outcome.
- Take note and celebrate when an activity takes an unexpected turn. Be flexible when a child goes in a completely different direction than you had imagined.
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