Bird Feeders That Are Fun for Kids to Make

Girl feeding the birds Open/Getty Images

Looking for a fun craft project that will let your preschooler explore science and nature while letting their creative muscles get a workout? Try making your own bird feeder. There are plenty of simple bird feeder plans that are easy for kids to make. From a pine cone bird feeder to a toilet paper roll bird feeder, most of these feeders use materials found in your home or after a quick trip to the grocery store.

The great thing about these bird feeders is that they continue to bring joy long after your preschooler has created one. Be sure to hang the bird feeder in a spot in your yard where you can enjoy it and watch the birds eat. These also make a great gift for any spring holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Before You Start

As with any craft that you do with your preschooler, make sure you read through the instructions prior to starting the craft. Then you will want to:

  • Lay out all the supplies and cover all work surfaces first with old newspaper or a tarp.
  • Some of these bird feeders use peanut butter, so if you have a child with an allergy, you may want to use another ingredient like┬álard or leftover cooking fat (such as bacon fat).
  • These crafts can get messy. If it's an option, work outside

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

One of the most common bird feeders for kids to make, the pine cone bird feeder is also one of the easiest. To make your pine cone bird feeder:

  1. Gather up a few pine cones from your yard and tie strings to the top of them. Tip: Do this step first, as the pine cones can get sticky and messy!
  2. Using a butter knife, have your preschooler spread peanut butter or cooking lard all over the surface of the pine cone.
  3. Roll the pine cone through a bowl of bird seed.
  4. Hang the pine cone from a high surface, such as a tree or a porch.

Bagel Bird Feeder

Along the same lines as the pine cone bird feeder, this one uses a stale bagel, so it's great if you have leftovers from a brunch party.

  1. Cut the bagel in half lengthwise and secure it with a string or ribbon through the hole.
  2. Have your preschooler spread either peanut butter or cooking fat over the bagel.
  3. Dredge it through the bird seed.
  4. Hang the bagel in the yard.

Cereal Bird Feeder

This is a great craft for working fine motor skills and makes use of any stale round cereal you might have in the house.

  1. Take a long length of string and tie a knot at the end, big enough so the cereal can't drop through.
  2. Ask your preschooler to put circle-shaped cereal (such as Cheerios) onto the string.
  3. Once the string is full, tie together at the ends and then secure to a tree or porch.

Toilet Paper Roll Bird Feeder

Start saving your empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls. This is a great recycling project to teach kids about reusable materials.

  1. Run a long piece of string through an empty toilet paper roll and tie together at the ends.
  2. Have your preschooler smear peanut butter all over the surface of the roll.
  3. Dredge through bird seed and hang your toilet paper roll bird feeder for all to see!

Orange Half Bird Feeder

Another fun project, this is a good use for those oranges that have been around a little too long. You will be using the orange peel to create a hanging boat for the bird seed.

  1. Cut an orange in half and clean out all of the fruit and pulp. Take care not to rip or tear the rind.
  2. Poke two tiny holes across the diameter of the orange, directly opposite from each other.
  3. Thread a string through and secure at the top.
  4. Fill the orange with a mixture of peanut butter and bird seed (or lard or leftover cooking fat) and hang.

Milk Carton Bird Feeder 

Use this project to create a temporary bird feeder that the kids can decorate however they like.

  1. Clean and dry an empty milk carton.
  2. Cut a hole big enough for a bird to fit.
  3. Punch a hole in the top of the feeder and thread a string through. Tie at the top and secure.
  4. Let your preschooler decorate as she wishes. Construction paper is fine, but know that it will likely get ruined in inclement weather. Instead, try acrylic paint or crayons.
  5. Once the bird feeder is dry, fill with birdseed and hang.