A bird eating from a plastic bottle bird feeder.

Transform a recycled plastic bottle into a simple homemade bird feeder.

Before You Play

Ask your child to describe different birds they have seen in your yard or neighborhood. Then, ask, “What do you think birds like to eat?” Explain that different types of birds like different kinds of foods. Some examples of bird food are insects, worms, fruit, nectar and birdseed. Tell your child that you are going to make a bird feeder that will be filled with seeds.

Materials

  • 2-liter plastic bottle
  • Twine or wire
  • 1 set of chopsticks
  • Scissors or a knife
  • Duct tape
  • Funnel
  • Birdseed

Directions

  1. Help your child wash the bottle to remove all labels. Dry it with a towel.
  2. Turn the bottle over. Ask your child if you should use scissors or a knife to cut or poke two small holes in the bottom of the bottle. Explain to your child why it’s important to be careful with scissors or the knife. Throughout the activity, make sure your child is a safe distance away each time you cut the holes.
  3. Thread twine or wire through one hole and out the other. Loosely tie the twine or wire together to make a loop for hanging. The bottom of the bottle will become the top of the feeder.
  4. Cut or poke two holes on opposite sides of the bottle, three inches from the bottle cap. Make the holes just large enough for a chopstick to fit through. Ask your child to insert the chopstick; this will serve as a perch for the birds to sit on.
  5. Two inches above each perch, cut or poke holes that are approximately 1/3 inch in diameter. This is where the birds will get the seed. Ask your child, “What might happen if the feeding holes were bigger?” Depending on the size of the birdseed you plan to use, you may need to make the holes bigger.
  6. Turn the bottle right-side up. Unscrew the cap and have your child place their finger on the outside of the bottle at the midway point, as you fill half of the bottle with birdseed. Replace the cap.
  7. Turn the bottle over. Tie the twine or wire around a tree limb or hang outside a window. Watch the birds that come to your feeder!

This craft comes to you from the creators of Curious George.

Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.