Are you a busy mom looking for a fun activity that’s both enjoyable and educational for your kids?
Look no further! Making homemade pine cone bird feeders is a great way to spend quality time with your little ones while helping your feathered friends.
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It’s an easy craft that kids of all ages can enjoy, and it’s perfect for introducing young children to the joys of bird watching right from your kitchen window.
- Large pine cones
- Natural peanut butter (or chunky peanut butter if you prefer)
- Bird seed (black-oil sunflower seed is a great high-protein food for wild birds)
- Plastic spoon, popsicle stick, or butter knife (for spreading the peanut butter)
- Paper plate
- String or a piece of twine
- Paper towels or a paper bag for clean-up
First Step: Prepare Your Pine Cone
Place the pine cone on a paper plate. This will be your workspace to catch any mess.
Spread the Peanut Butter
Using a popsicle stick or a butter knife, spread a little peanut butter around the pine cone. Aim to cover as much of the pine cone as you can with a thin layer. This step is not just much fun but also a great opportunity for your kids to develop their fine motor skills.
Roll in Bird Seed
Pour some bird seed into a shallow dish or a deep bowl. Roll the peanut butter-covered pine cone in the bird seed until it’s well-coated. This can be a bit messy, so having paper towels on hand is a good idea.
Attach the String
Tie twine around the top of the pinecone, creating a loop for hanging. Make sure it’s secure, as you’ll be hanging this new feeder from tree branches in your backyard.
Hang and Enjoy
Find a good spot on a tree branch, preferably visible from a window, and hang your homemade pine cone bird feeder. This is a perfect feeder for different birds, especially during the winter months when blue jays, and other kinds of birds, frequent backyard feeders.
Bird Watching Fun
Now comes the best part! Sit back with your little ones and watch as a wider variety of birds visit your new pine cone feeders. It’s a delightful way to teach your kids about different birds, their eating habits, and the importance of caring for wild animals.
Tips and Variations:
- For those with peanut allergies, alternatives like sunflower seed butter or soy butter can be used.
- Experiment with different types of seed to attract a variety of birds. Larger seeds might attract blue jays, while smaller seeds like black-oil sunflower seed are perfect for smaller birds.
- If you’re interested in more outdoor activities, consider using different materials like fruit pieces or nut pieces in your feeders.
- For an extra educational twist, participate in national bird feeding month activities or learn about the birds that visit your feeders.
Creating a simple bird feeder using a pinecone, some peanut butter, and bird seed is not just a fun project; it’s a great way to spend time with your kids, teaching them about nature and the importance of caring for our feathered friends.
It’s an easy pine cone bird feeder craft that doesn’t require a lot of time or resources but offers a lot of enjoyment and learning opportunities.
So, grab those pine cones and get started on this great project today!
Tip: Create a few pine cone feeders and place them around different areas of your yard. Try to see which location attracts the most birds and discuss why the reason why it may be a hot spot!
Are Pine Cone Bird Feeders Good for Birds
Yes, pine cone bird feeders are good for birds. These pine cone bird feeders provide food for birds in need of a food source, especially during the winter months.
- pine cones
- peanut butter
- bird seeds
- plastic spoon, popsicle stick, or spatula (to spread the peanut butter)
- paper plate
Place the pine cone on a paper plate.
Using a plastic spoon or spatula, spread peanut butter around the pine cone. Try to cover as much of the pine cone as you can with a thin layer of peanut butter.
Once the pine cone is covered in peanut butter, roll the pine cone around in the bird seeds until the pine cone is covered with bird seed.
Tie a string at the top of the pine cone and hang from a tree in your yard.
Sit back and wait for the birds to arrive and enjoy the seeds from the pine cone bird feeder!
Frequently Asked Questions for Making a Pine Cone Bird Feeder
What type of pine cones are best for making bird feeders?
Large pine cones are ideal for making bird feeders as they have more surface area to spread the peanut butter and hold the bird seeds. Look for ones that have open scales, which make it easier to get the peanut butter and seeds into the crevices.
Can I use crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth peanut butter?
Crunchy peanut butter can work just as well as smooth peanut butter. It adds extra texture and nut pieces that birds might enjoy. However, ensure that it’s at room temperature to make spreading easier.
Is it safe to use peanut butter for bird feeders? What if there are peanut allergies?
Peanut butter is generally safe and a popular choice for homemade bird feeders. However, if there are concerns about peanut allergies, alternatives like sunflower seed butter can be used.
How do I hang the pine cone bird feeder?
Tie a piece of twine or string around the top of the pine cone. Make a loop or a slip knot for easy hanging. Choose a spot on a tree branch where birds feel safe and can easily access the feeder.
Can I make these feeders during the summer or are they just for winter months?
While these feeders are particularly beneficial during the colder months when food sources are scarce, you can absolutely make them year-round. Birds appreciate the extra food and it’s a great way to observe different birds in various seasons.
What kinds of birds will the pine cone bird feeder attract?
The types of birds attracted will depend on the bird seed used. Smaller seeds like black-oil sunflower seeds are popular with a variety of birds, including finches and sparrows, while larger seeds may attract bigger birds like blue jays.
How long will the pine cone bird feeder last?
The feeder will typically last a couple of days to a week, depending on weather conditions and bird activity. Check periodically and replace when necessary.
Are there any mess-free alternatives for younger children?
For a less messy activity, consider using pipe cleaners to make simple feeders. Thread cereal or small pieces of fruit onto the pipe cleaners and bend them into shapes for hanging.
Can I add anything else to the bird feeders for variety?
Feel free to experiment by adding fruit pieces, nut pieces, or different types of seeds to attract a wider variety of birds.
What should I do if the pine cone bird feeder attracts unwanted animals?
If unwanted wild animals like squirrels are a problem, try hanging the feeders higher or using a feeder pole with a baffle. Be mindful of where you place the feeders to avoid attracting animals close to your home.