There’s no better or easier way to connect with nature in your backyard than by beckoning birds with a handmade bird feeder. Michele’s tequila bottle hummingbird feeder has been one of our most popular posts ever, and I think it has as much to do with reusing old bottles (another topic you really love) as it does attracting feathered friends. Here’s another simple project with both those vital elements: a bird feeder made from a used plastic bottle. Alas, I cannot claim to be the originator of this clever and easy project for kids — my co-volunteer at a local school garden project, Nancy, deserves the credit. We made them with the kids last week, and they loved it!
Aside from the used bottle with a screw top (Gatorade bottles worked great for us), the other easy-to-find materials in this kid-friendly bird feeder project are wooden skewers, twine and bird seed. The only tools you’ll need are a knife and sharp hand-pruners (both of which should be handled by adults only). The basic idea is to insert skewers across the bottle to create perches for the birds. Depending on the size of your bottle, you may have one or two perches. Start by cutting slits for inserting your wooden skewers and X marks just above for the birds to use in feeding, then mimic those same cuts directly across the bottle on the other side. Repeat for multiple perches, making skewers perpendicular to allow more room the feeding birds.
Let kids insert the skewers into their bottle bird feeders, and then clip the sharp ends off for them. Then the kids can fill up the bottles with bird seed. Re-attach the screw top, and then tie twine around the top to hang from a tree. The kids I worked with figured out how to tie the twine on either side and create a loop for hanging, almost like a basket handle. This worked great! It’s that easy.
Below, find some more inspiration for feeding the birds. These ideas are a bit more ornate than this plastic bottle feeder, but the idea is all the same — feed the birds to feed a love of nature for yourself or a child.