Make Bird Feeders from Recycled Materials
In this creative STEM activity, kids create bird feeders from recycled materials. Perfect for Earth Day - or any day!
Simple Explanation: to create a bird feeder, you need to have 6 things: waterproof materials, an opening to put the food in, a "roof" to keep the food dry, an opening for the birds to get the food, a place for the birds to sit, and a way to hang your feeder. These are called "design specifications." Other than these requirements, your creation can be anything you imagine!
The Science: It is best for birds to get their food from their natural habitat, but making a bird feeder is a fun way to attract birds to your backyard or neighborhood, especially if their habitat has been changed by development. Be sure to keep your feeder full, however, as birds may come to depend on it as their source of food. Other ways you can attract birds include planting trees and bushes that provide the fruit and berries they like to eat, and putting out a shallow container of water for birds to drink and bathe in.
Because different birds eat different things, you can attract your favorite birds by filling your feeder with foods that they like. Some examples are:
- Sunflower seeds – cardinals, mockingbirds and goldfinches
- Peanuts -- blue jays
- Berries -- robins, bluebirds, waxwings
- Sugar water – orioles, hummingbirds
Be sure to help kids with cutting objects and working with a hot glue gun, as necessary.
- Variety of waterproof recycled materials (plastic bottles & containers)
- String or similar
- Hot glue gun, waterproof tape or similar
- Decorations (optional)
- Bird food
- Scissors or similar
Show your kiddos the video we've assembled of various bird feeders made from recycled materials, then turn them loose with materials of their own!
Examples of what you could assemble include:
- Recycled drink cup and lid, plastic spoon and string.
- Plastic bowls, straws and string.
- Styrofoam plates, straws and string.
- Plastic water bottles, sticks and string.
- Milk or juice carton, sticks and string.
- Peanut butter jar, sticks and string.
- Bleach jug and strings.
- Cracker barrel and strings.
- Ketchup bottle, plastic bowl and strings.
Obviously, all materials should be clean and dry!