Today’s STEAM Activity is making a bird feeder! My son asked me if we could do this because he has seen lots of birds in our yard and really wanted to feed them. We made two different kinds of bird feeders: one using a 1 gallon milk jug and one made of popsicle sticks. The milk jug bird feeder held up better for us, but both bird feeders were fun to make, so I’m sharing instructions for both bird feeders below.

Milk Jug Bird Feeder

MATERIALS:

  • 1 gallon milk jug (empty, clean, and dry)
  • Scissors
  • String 
  • Markers or paint 

PROCEDURE:

  1. Cut large holes in the two flat sides of the milk jug. These are where the birds will enter to get their food. 

2. Decorate your milk jug with markers or paint

3. Optional: glue popsicle sticks to the bottom of the holes to give the birds a perch while they are eating food.

4. Poke two holes in the top of the milk jug and push the string through the holes then tie a knot in the string. 

5. Add bird seed to your bird feeder and hang outside. 

6. Watch for birds enjoying the bird food!

Popsicle Sticks Bird Feeder

MATERIALS:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • String

PROCEDURE:

  1. Optional: Color the popsicle sticks to make a colorful bird feeder.

2. Line up popsicle sticks the length of one stick. 

3. Hot glue sticks on both ends perpendicular to the sticks lined up for the base.

4. Continue to stack popsicle sticks on the edges, placing them perpendicular to each other and hot gluing at the corners, until each side is about 4 popsicle sticks high. 

5. Glue down a stick or two pointing outward on each side of the base to make a perch for the birds to sit on while eating.

6. Wrap string around each corner of the bird feeder and tie at the top. 

7. Add bird seed to the base of the feeder. 

8. Hang outside and watch the birds enjoy!

STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:

  • Science: Take the opportunity to learn about what and where birds eat. What kind of bird food is most appropriate for birds in your area? Where is the best spot to hang the bird feeder in your yard to attract the most birds?
  • Engineering: Your kids are learning how to build something from their own designs. In engineering first we design and calculate, then we build. Take the time to read the instructions and come up with your design and plan before building.
  • Art: Coloring your bird feeder using bright colors and patterns. What colors do you think the birds will like best?
  • Math: Do counting practice when making the popsicle stick feeder. Count how many popsicle sticks you need to make the base, then how many you need total to make the sides 4 sticks high. There is also angle practice making right angles to form the square popsicle popsicle stick feeder.

Have you made bird feeders before? Will you try now after learning how simple they are to make?

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