Simple birdfeeders are a great project for young students to have hands-on science fun. Wintertime feeders will attract native birds to your area, or help feed local birds in colder weather. They can be made with easily found materials. A good writing exercise would be to have your child observe birds that the feeder attracts, then draw or write about them.
Here is a simple wintertime birdfeeder that you and your child can easily make together:
- Some large pinecones, wild bird seed, peanut butter, a spoon, a paper plate, and a piece of string for each cone (about 12 inches long).
- Help your child tie the string securely around the top on the pinecone. Have her use the spoon to completely cover the cone in peanut butter.
- Pour some of the birdseed on the paper plate. Have her roll the pinecone in the birdseed.
- Make and hang three or four pinecone feeders on a tree branch within viewing distance of a home window, and observe the birds that come to eat!
Identify the birds together, if you can. This guide from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology might be helpful in identifying various winter birds.
If possible, have your child keep a notebook for drawings and facts about what he or she observes. It’s a great way to turn the cold winter months into a wonderful early educational science project for your child.
The pinecone feeder can always be replenished with peanut butter and additional bird seed if they become very popular with the winter birds.