Build a Pine Cone Bird Feeder!
For kindergarteners, the natural world can be a dynamic and wonderful classroom, filled with opportunities to learn, just about any season of the year. Explore nature science with your child and build a bird feeder with only a few things from around the house (and yard). Here's a kindergarten science craft that brings birds to your yard—and a smile to your child's face!
What You Need:
- Bird seed for birds in your area
- Flat baking tray
- A good-sized pine cone (best if it’s 5” or larger, with plenty of space between bristles)
- Smooth peanut butter
- Blunt table knife
- Table covering—this activity can get messy!
What You Do:
- Find an area that you don’t mind messing up a bit—a backyard porch table is ideal. Cover your work surface with newspaper or plastic. Pour some bird seed into your baking tray and set it in the middle of the table for later.
- Help your kindergartener use the blunt knife to spread peanut butter into all the nooks and crannies of the pine cone. Have her smear it all over.
- Then help him roll it firmly in the dish of bird seed so that the pine cone is covered as much as possible with the seeds.
- Tie a piece of string (at least a foot long) to the top of the pine cone and hang it from a nearby tree. Birds usually take a few days to locate new food…but when they find it, it will be a bird bonanza out there! Keep a bird book handy. Who are your new guests? Can you and your child identify what kinds of birds are visiting the bird feeder? How do they get along? Are there any squirrels crashing the party?
- When this pine cone is pecked clean, make another! You can be sure that birds will be delighted to enjoy many more gourmet feasts at your kindergartener's little Bird Restaurant.
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.