I remember making these peanut butter, bird seed, and pine cone bird feeders with my grandmother when I was a little girl. They are so easy that I have been meaning to make them with my kids forever! It would be a shame for their childhoods to have passed them by without having done this simple, outdoor activity.
We did this DIY activity on a weekend when we were able to camp in a tent in our backyard. I was trying to think of as many outdoor activities as possibly, such as gardening and playing outdoor games. We were originally planning to go camping at a national park that weekend, but our plans were canceled due to Covid-19. I figured a global pandemic was a good a time as any to invite some birds to our yard.
My kids have seen a few birds eating from these bird feeders in the past couple weeks. Unfortunately for the birds, within a few days, squirrels figured out how to get to most of them. Depending on how you feel about squirrels in your yard, this is not necessarily a bad thing. After watching this amazing YouTube video on a ninja warrior style squirrel obstacle course, my kids are definitely fans of squirrels.
If you don’t want squirrels eating them, be sure not too hang the pine cones too close to the trunk of the tree. One of ours was about a foot from the trunk and that one was completely demolished within a couple days by squirrels. The ones that were hanging on farther branches lasted much longer, but eventually I think the squirrels must have figured out how to pull up the pine cone by the rope. Those squirrels are ingenious!
PINE CONE BIRD FEEDERS
Recommended Age Range: Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary
Time Required: ~15 minutes
Difficulty: Fairly Easy (though children might need help cutting of the pointy tips if your pine cone is sharp)
Cost: Less then $2 in used supplies.
- a pine cone
- bird seed (about half a cup)
- peanut butter (about half a cup) — Note: We only had chunky peanut butter, which is fine, but smooth would probably work better.
- string (about 3-4 feet)
- butter knife or spatula
- If your pine cone has sharp tips, cut the tips off the pine cone before giving it to your child to prevent injury.
- If your pine cone is dirty, rinse it off with a hose to clean it.
- After it dries, spread peanut butter all over the upward facing surfaces.
- Sprinkle bird seed all over the peanut butter covered surfaces.
- Cut a string about 3 or 4 feet long.
- Tie one end of the string to the top of the pine cone.
- Tie the other end of the string to a tree branch.
- Cut off the excess string.
Have fun watching birds and other critters visit your yard!