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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Make a Birdfeeder for Wintertime Science Fun

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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.


> Fun Wintertime Educational Activities for Kids and Families

> Outdoor Winter Activities To Enjoy With Your Kids

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