7 bird and wildlife crafts for kids

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Keep children busy in the school holidays with these brilliant bird-craft ideas courtesy of some of our favourite bloggers. Whether you want a quiet task to fill a wet afternoon or you think a scavenger hunt for natural craft materials would make a great focus for a winter walk, here are seven ways to keep your wildlife-loving kids entertained, inside and out.
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1. How to make fat balls for birds

Homemade fat balls made from seeds in cupcake cases
Homemade fat balls are fun to make and highly nutritious for birds
Image: Daisies & Pie

Making homemade fat balls is a great little nature craft for kids and it all goes to help sustain wild birds and other creatures over the cold winter months,” says Wendy from Daisies & Pie. All you need is some bird seed, oats, split peanuts (preferably aflatoxin tested), raisins and lard.

Provided that an adult helps to melt the fat, even very small children can get involved with this activity and they will love decorating the garden with these healthy bird treats. Want to turn them into homemade gifts or sell them at your school’s Christmas Fayre? Simply use loops of brightly-coloured festive ribbon to make them ultra giftable!

Find Wendy’s fat ball recipe here.

2. How to make a pine cone bird feeder

Homemade bird feeder covered in peanut butter
Suspend your pine cone feeders from trees, fences, railings and shrubs
Image: Whimsical Mumblings

If you’re looking for fun outdoor activities as well as wildlife-friendly craft ideas for the holidays, Sarah from Whimsical Mumblings has the perfect solution – pine cone bird feeders. To kick things off, wrap up warm, find your wellies and challenge the kids to a pine cone scavenger hunt! Once you’ve collected enough, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get messy. You can do the crafting outdoors if it’s a dry day.

All you need is a few pine cones, twine, unsalted peanut butter (preferably a bird-friendly variety like Flutter Butter) and some bird seed. Kids of all ages can get involved with this activity and local birds will really appreciate the high-protein snack.

Find Sarah’s pine cone bird feeder guide here.

3. How to make apple bird feeders

Homemade apple feeders for birds
Suspend your apple feeders around the garden
Image: Team Stein

The family at Team Stein love making seasonal bird feeders and, with four children ranging from toddler to tween, Charlotte knows how to keep everyone engaged. To make these apple bird feeders, you’ll need some fruit, unsalted peanut butter or lard, bird seed, a cookie cutter and twine.

The heart-shaped cookie cutter is a fun way to show birds some winter love, but you could try different shapes or just scoop the core away with a teaspoon. Mixing the bird seed with peanut butter helps the filling to stick in place, but it also provides a high-protein boost that keeps birds warm and healthy on a cold day.

See Charlotte’s apple bird feeder advice here.

4. How to make a simple bird bath

Little girl making bird bath
Repurpose a wide, shallow bowl to make a DIY bird bath
Image: Growing Family

For a fun outdoor activity for children of all ages, Catherine from Growing Family suggests building a bird bath. “We tend to think of summer as the season to provide wild birds with a source of water…but in winter, those sources can easily freeze up, leaving birds struggling,” she says. Clean water is appreciated by birds all year round.

To make a simple bird bath, all you need is a shallow dish, some pebbles to help the birds get in and out, and some water. Ask the kids to think about depth, access, a safe position and regular maintenance. Perhaps they’ll catch other wildlife having a quick drink as well as the thirsty birds!

See Catherine’s guide to building a bird bath for more tips.

5. How to make a DIY window feeder

Closeup of DIY window bird feeder
This clever window feeder is made from upcycled kitchen utensils
Image: Craft Invaders

Our DIY window bird feeder…is a fantastic way to see birds close up while still keeping them safe from predators,” says Sarah from Craft Invaders. Her kids love watching the birds eat breakfast while they’re having theirs! It also makes a great homemade present for elderly grandparents.

A cool craft activity for primary-school-aged children, this fantastic window feeder is made from an old cake tin, a small tea strainer, rustic floristry wire and some suction cups. If you don’t have any old tins to upcycle, you can easily pick up wooden or wire wreath rings in the run up to Christmas. When it’s ready, simply fill the tea strainer with high quality bird seed and watch the feathered visitors flock in.

Follow Sarah’s window bird feeder tutorial here.

6. How to make a DIY nest box

Child creating nest box
Make a nest box with your children to provide shelter for birds
Image: Rainy Day Mum

Children of all ages will love making this DIY nest box courtesy of Cerys from Rainy Day Mum. Younger kids will definitely need some help, but it’s a great way to let older children practise using tools. Ramp up the creativity by getting them to paint and personalise the finished project too.

Cerys has supplied a template pattern to help you get the measurements right. If you’re buying the wood, she also suggests marine ply which can be glued or nailed together. Once hung, children will love watching their box to see who comes to visit.

Find Cerys’s step-by-step instructions for making a nest box here.

7. How to make a bug hotel

Homemade bug hotel
Fill your bug hotel with twigs and leaves
Image: Lukeosaurus and Me

Birds appreciate regular food, fresh water and a safe place to nest, but you can also encourage them to visit by boosting your garden’s natural ecosystem. A great activity for the school holidays, Rachael from Lukeosaurus and Me recommends building a bug hotel out of recycled materials.

All you need are six clean food tins and some strong glue. Once you’ve assembled the hotel, encourage the kids to run around outside finding bug-friendly materials to fill each of the ‘rooms’, including twigs, pine cones, bark and leaves. Not just a craft activity, this is a great opportunity to discuss biodiversity and the world around us.

See Rachael’s top tips for making a bug hotel here.

We hope we’ve given you plenty of craft ideas to keep your children busy over the holidays. And if you’re lucky enough to encourage more birds into your garden, learn more about them by visiting our garden bird library and download a free game of bird bingo from the Happy Beaks blog.

For ready-made bird food, baths, and feeders at great value prices visit Happy Beaks shop.
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