Spring is right around the corner – trees are budding, snow is melting, flowers are starting to peek through the ground in anticipation of warmer weather and longer days.  So, now is the perfect time to sit down with your favorite kiddo and make something to celebrate nature.  Make a bird feeder and welcome our feathered friends back home!  And, gone are the days of the pine cone feeder – here are some great new ways to treat the birds.

The best bird feeders are ones that are edible.  Try coating a bagel half with peanut butter and roll it in bird seed.  Then, use some twine to tie it to a tree.  Everything that is used to create this feeder is a gift to the birds – seed, peanut butter, bagel – and the twine is excellent nest-building material!  Another great idea is to use an ice cream cone.  A cone can either be coated like the bagel, or it can be filled with seed and hung from a tree like a cup of seed (tie the string around the rim, about a 1/2 inch down, and then make a double hanger – strap on either side – to tie around a tree branch).

For a slightly less traditional bird feeder, string cereal on a piece of yarn and tie to the tree (Cheerios work well for this).  The birds will appreciate the healthy snack, and again, the yarn will make excellent nest-building material.  Cookie cutter feeders are also fun; find your favorite cookie cutter and cut the shape from a piece of bread.  Press seed into the cut out, then poke a hole through the top with a straw.  String it to a tree! 

Not all feeders need to be edible.  Using recycled materials, such as empty egg cartons, pie tins, and even empty milk cartons, you can make a simple feeders for your back yard guests.  Turn any empty container into a feeder by making twine hangers to tie to a tree branch.  Just remember to soften any edges that might pose a danger to birds.

Make a feeder this weekend with your child.  Then, sit back and watch the birds arrive, marveling in their newfound treat!