How to make… (Part 3: Bird Feeder’s)

“Curious George is a monkey and he does things we can’t. ”  This is a catch phrase my daughter, Sophia has caught!  I don’t really understand it though and have interpreted it as: when Curious George does things he usually gets in trouble; so when you try something, be careful.

Sophia fell in love with Curious George while at Curious George’s biggest fan’s house (sorry Erin, had to call you out).  The classic books have been made into educational cartoons that are accompanied by real life activities relating to the episode.  Of course Erin gave Sophia her first Curious George DVD; Curious George Goes Green !  This was the perfect first Curious George DVD for our family because we are big into recycling and gardening.  Since that first DVD our collection has grown but there are a few DVDs that we still do not have so if you ever are thinking of a gift to get for our children, please double-check with me to make sure we don’t have that DVD yet 😉

Now that Sophia is a bit older she’s been enquiring about the activities that George and the kids do.  As a treat she gets to watch the episode and create something.  By the title of this post you can probably guess what one of her favorites is; creating bird feeders.

DVD: Curious George Plays In The Snow; Episode: For The Birds.  In this cartoon episode, George is excited to go to the country to feed Bill’s Bunnies.  However, Bill goes away to visit his Grandmother so George decides to feed the Birds instead.  Well every time George fills the bird feeder, that “Silly Jumpy Squirrel” (as Phia calls him) takes the seed.  After many attempts at moving the feeder out of Jumpy’s reach, George finally realizes that the problem is that Bill isn’t there to feed Jumpy so George has to make sure he does that too so Jumpy will stop stealing the bird food.  In the real life activity episode, kids use recycled materials to make their own bird feeders.  However, one of the girl’s makes the opening too big so a squirrel gets in and takes the bird food; one of the boy’s fixes the feeder so that only birds can get in.

One day after watching this episode Sophia told me that we needed to feed the birds and make a feeder.  So we went to Lowe’s and purchased a big bag of bird seed.  Then using recycled materials we created our feeder.

The key to this project is to use materials you already have around your house; bird seed was the only thing we bought.

Example materials:

  • Small Milk Carton (The first feeder we made was from a pint-sized chocolate milk container.  Yet you can use a quart or even a gallon if that’s what you have.  Plastic or cardboard just make sure it is thoroughly rinsed and dried.)
  • Chopsticks (We’ve used these for the bird stands for all of our feeders.  However, if you do not have any of these in your house, a wooden skewer would work fine.  Even better yet you could go outside and pick up sticks from the ground.)
  • Coffee Creamer Bottles (Since I’ve had a recent obsession with coffee creamer if was only right that I used on to make my feeder.  We also use them to fill the feeders, they are great to store small amounts of seed in so that you’re not always having to mess with a big bag and so that your child can start to learn responsibility by filling the feeder.)
  • Parmesan Cheese Shaker (“Jumpy’s Lunchbox” is made from this.  Sophia wanted to make sure we had a bigger container so that the squirrels would have somewhere to eat too.  Though the birds also enjoy this feeder, as shown in the photo below, the squirrels usually hop up on the porch after a very windy day when seed has blown out or after the birds have finished eating and they’ve left some scraps.)
  • Fishing Line (This is what we used to hang our feeders but if you have something similar, that should work just as well.)

Directions:

  1. Gather recycled materials and decorating tools.
  2. Have an adult cut two holes (square or round) on each side of the container (be careful when doing this, a box cutter works best, note: I was foolish and used scissors to try to stab through the milk container and I severely cut myself and still have a nasty scar almost 3 months later).  Make sure the holes aren’t too big, so that squirrels can’t easily get it; they should be about an inchish.
  3. Make small hole below cut out and stick chopstick/skewer/stick through both sides.  It’s important that the stick goes straight through the container so that it’s properly balanced.
  4. At top of feeder, string through fishing line and test to make sure the feeder holds nicely where you’re going to hang it.
  5. HAVE FUN DECORATING!

 

6.  With an adult’s assistance, carefully fill the feeder with bird seed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  With an adult’s assistance, carefully hang up the bird feeder.  The best way to do this is to have your child pick the spot to hang the feeder and then you do it for them.

 

8.  ENJOY WATCHING THE BEAUTIFUL BIRDS FEAST AT YOUR HOMEMADE BIRD FEEDER!  Oh and the squirrels too, they can be silly!

 

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