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Ideal Age Range:
Pipe Cleaner Feeders – 1 – 3 years
Cookie Cutter Feeders – 2 – 8 years
Low – Medium
5 – 10 minutes. Prep a baking tray, lining it with parchment and spread out cookie cutter shapes. Boil water for gelatin (1 cup per package). Place large mixing bowl and baking tray along with other supplies on your work table.
Whether you live in a place that is covered by snow or somewhere a bit warmer that is starting to show whiffs of Spring, creating these simple bird feeders is a simple weekend project for your kids.
Younger kids will love the ease of creating feeders with pipe cleaners and Cheerios – simply work on those fine motor skills and string them on. You can create any shape you wish with pipe cleaners – we stuck with a simple circle below.
Create shapely bird treats using cookie cutters and a little gelatin. Easy enough for younger kids to scoop and participate in, these look pretty hanging from your trees.
Pipe Cleaner Bird Feeders
- Take any color pipe cleaner and kink the end to keep Cheerios from falling off.
- Have your child string Cheerios onto the pipe cleaner, leaving about 2″ at the end.
- Secure pipe clear into the shape of your choice, twisting the ends around each other to create a sooth surface.
- Repeat steps 2 & 3 for as many additional shapes as you wish, attaching the shapes to each other as you finish.
- For your last shape, twist the ends together leaving about 1″ of pipe cleaner on each side.
- Attach your bird feeder to a tree by twisting the pipe cleaner around a branch.
Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders
- Dump the contents of 2 packets of unflavored gelatin into a large mixing bowl.
- If you have multiple children making feeders, you may want to add more packets. Increase the amount of water and bird seed that you use accordingly.
- Heat 1 cup of water per packet of gelatin until boiling. Pour boiling water into the same bowl as the gelatin packets and stir immediately until dissolved. NOTE: PARENTS SHOULD DO THIS STEP. Be careful that the exterior of the bowl cools down before kids handle it.
- Add 1 cup of bird seed per packet of gelatin to the mixture.
- Tip: you will have to play with the consistency on your own as the ratios vary based on the bird seed that you use. Continue to add bird seed until the mixture becomes thick (when you scoop it, you don’t want the gelatin water to run under the cookie cutters).
- Using a large spoon, scoop the bird seed mixture into your cookie cutters.
- When the cookie cutters are about 50% full, use fingers to pat the mixture flat. Add a small piece of plastic straw towards the top. This will create a hole once the bird feeders dry that you can use to string them outside.
- Continue to scoop the bird seed mixture, filling and patting smooth until you are close to the top edge of your cookie cutter.
- Repeat for all cookie cutter shapes until the bird seed mixture is gone.
- Put the tray in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and gently press the bird seed shape to remove it from the cookie cutter. (If it falls apart, put it back in the freezer for a bit longer.)
- Remove each cookie cutter and leave the tray to dry for about 24 hours.
- Once dry, add a pipe cleaner or string to the hole and string the bird seed shape outside.
Remember that all activities like this are a good way to impart simple counting, color, or shape lessons for toddlers.
For older kids, make sure to hang your bird feeders in a place where you can keep an eye on them from inside the house. Create a bird journal and have your kids observe the types of birds that enjoy their snacks!
If you want to pin this project, please use the image below.