Crafts with grandchildren: build a bird feeder

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Doing a craft together is a great way to spend some meaningful time with your grandchildren away from the computer or TV screen.

Next time you’re together, why not try building a bird feeder – they are easy and inexpensive to make, require very little prep and can be adapted to be simpler or more complex depending on the age group of your grandchildren.

Once finished, they look great in the garden and also offer the opportunity to study the different birds as they come to feed. Need inspiration? Here are two easy ways to make a bird feeder at home.

Simple bird cake

This speedy bird cake can be made from things you likely already have around the house and is a great way to attract greenfinches, tits and even great spotted woodpeckers to your garden.

You’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • String
  • An empty yogurt pot or other small, plastic container
  • Bird seed
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Grated cheese
  • Suet or lard

What to do  

  1. Start by making a small hole in the bottom of your plastic container and threading the string through – make sure it’s long enough so you can tie the pot to a tree.
  2. Cut the lard or suet into small cubes and place it in a mixing bowl – for best results, wait until it’s at room temperature.
  3. Add your ingredients to the bowl and mix it together by hand until the mixture starts to come together; you can use as much or as little of each ingredient as you like or leave something out if you don’t have it at home.
  4. Pack the mixture into your yogurt pots and press down so everything is firmly in place. Leave them to set in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Recycled Bird Feeder

This simple bird feeder can be made from bottles from your recycling bin and is easy to restock and use again and again.

You’ll need

  • A plastic container: an old water bottle, soda bottle or milk carton works best
  • Scissors
  • String or wire
  • Bird seed

What to do

  1. Wash your plastic container thoroughly and let it dry. Carefully cut a hole in the side of the bottle – it should be low enough to allow the flow of seeds but not so close to the bottom that they fall out.
  2. Poke 2-3 small holes in the bottom of the container – this will allow water to drain from the feeder when it rains.
  3. Firmly tie a piece of string or wire to the top of the bottle.
  4. Fill the container with seeds and then hang it from a tree or clothes line in your garden.

Will you try making your own bird feeder?

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4th Aug 2016
Thanks for voting!
I love feeding the birds I have several bird feeders with various types of food right opposite my lounge window where I can see them from the Sofa. Also have feeders on the back too. Get many different species just wish I could identify them all.
2nd Aug 2016
Thanks for voting!
I love seeing the birds in my garden especially when they have a bath in the bird bath. I did have a bird feeder and the birds used to come to feed daily. However, not so long ago, I saw a rat come from under my shed and start to feed on the dropped pieces of feed. I then swept these away and moved the food to the bird table, only to see the rat actually run up the table and start to eat the food. When I went outside to remove the table the rat disappeared under the shed. I have not put any food out since. My granddaughter used to love to put the food out for the birds, but I am reluctant to do this again, because of the rat(s).

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