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DIY for the Non-Crafter: Toddler Friendly Birdfeeder

Updated: Sep 12, 2023


I’ve said before that I’m not a DIY-er. I've tried many times and it always comes out looking like a kindergarten art project that was only half finished. But I have continued to try anyways - partially because some things I know I could do with practice, like refinishing an old piece of furniture (I’m not so good with stencils and chalk paint, but give me roll of pretty contact paper and an exacto knife and I’m on it!) and because I believe that it’s still worth it. It still gives me something to do. I’m not idly sitting by stuffing my face in boredom. I’m learning: researching, watching how-to’s, trial and error, getting creative in finding ways to make mistakes work. An active brain is a happy one, and every now and then I find something easy enough that it’s impossible to mess up 😆 I love finding those, especially when they’re safe and easy enough that my son can participate, too!



My son loves bird watching. He thinks he’s bird catching but that he hasn’t learned how to sneak quietly enough to catch one. It’s funny watching him try to tip-toe through the grass to sneak up on a bird on our fenceline. When I did a random google search for easy DIY activities with toddlers and came across a DIY birdfeeder, I immediately knew we would try it. 4 supplies, appearance didn’t matter, and it goes to good use.



Supplies:

  • Butter knife

  • Scissors

  • Cardboard

  • Peanut butter

  • Bird seed

  • Twine


The image I saw used a shoe box lid, but I just saved up toilet paper rolls when they were empty and looped the twine through them. Since these were going in our backyard, I used a paper ribbon I had on hand, as well. The birds didn’t take it, but did bite through it. Since it was in my backyard, I was able to toss it in the trash afterwards so it wasn’t litter, but I would recommend using a natural twine if you’ll be leaving these in community or natural locations that you may not immediately return to.


I smeared the peanut butter, then allowed my son (he’s 3) to scoop bird seed onto a plate and roll the peanut buttered cardboard all over it until it was fully covered. Then I looped the twine through the roll and we took them outside. My son got to pick the spot on our fence line that they would hang. The excitement on his face when we would go back to check them and see that they were being eaten was the best part!


Benefits:

  • Tactile Play and Motor Skills

  • Opportunities to discuss animals, nature, being kind to our planet and its inhabitants, doing a good deed, etc

  • Allowing independence and practice in decision-making

  • Focused together time



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