DIY Bird Feeders and Activities for Kids
Calling all bird nerds! Here is a huge list of Backyard Bird feeders and bird watching activities for kids. A great way to get your kids to appreciate and conserve nature is to engage them in bird watching, have them build a bird feeder or other fun activities.
We have been bird watchers for as long as I can remember. We have several feeders in our yard and keep them full year-round. One event we always look forward to is the Backyard Bird Count in February. We take day trips to local areas such as Hawk Mountain and the Conowingo Dam to see the eagles when they are migrating. As young as 4, my younger son was able to identify a few species. So I thought, “Hey, why not? It’s time to find him some other activities to do to foster this interest!” He now has his own binoculars and almost every day he’ll watch the feeders for a few minutes (he’s 8 now) and tell me who is there having a snack.
Benefits of bird watching
- gives a greater appreciation for the environment
- gets you outdoors
- allows you to enjoy the outdoors while you are still indoors
Backyard Bird feeders and bird watching activities for kids
Backyard Bird-instructions for homemade food and feeders and habitats
- Creating a bird friendly habitat–
- printable bookmarks with recipe for food–
- wildlife tree homemade ornaments that feed birds-
Simple Sensory and Fine Motor Bird Feeder
Pipe Cleaners and O Shaped Cereal
- Using the pipe cleaners, string the cereal from one end to the other, leaving a little space on each end to twist them together.
- Once the pipe cleaner is full of cereal, twist the ends together in the shape of an O. Pull this section downwards into the circle.
- Shape the pipe cleaner into a heart.
- Once the heart- shaped bird feeder is ready, hang it on a tree or bush for the birds to enjoy.
More Backyard Bird feeders and bird watching activities for kids
Turn your backyard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat!
You just have to provide the 4 basics:
- a place to raise young
Then submit your information to the National Wildlife Federation and get your yard certified.
Backyard Bird printable worksheets
Bird Identification Game:
Requires preparation and set up, FYI.
Bird printable-right click, save and resize before printing.
From Enchanted Learning-bringing bird activities into the classroom.
How kids can learn to identify backyard birds
I have one favorite book, the Stokes one. Once you are better at identifying them and want a book with more species in it, you can move up. For beginners, it is so easy to use. It has color tabs on the sides of the pages, so if you see a gray bird, you know right where to go in the book.
National Backyard Bird Count
February is the Backyard Bird Count from the National Audubon Society and they also have many ways to get kids involved and interested in birds. They also have an online identification guide for birds and some quizzes. Can you identify birds by their song? Find out here. The GBBC is also where you can go with your kids to log how many birds you see during the count. Fantastic activity so that they see how we are all a part of the bigger picture–when they see other families from all over the nation doing the same thing!
When is the Backyard Bird Count?
Here are the complete instructions and data/counting sheets (free and printable!).
I set about compiling a list of activities for kids that have to do with backyard birds. There are DIY bird feeder ideas, wildlife ornaments, crafts, games, songs and so much more. Have fun with it and share it with all your friends–especially homeschoolers and other bird nerds.
BirdLog North America-It allows you to enter sightings into eBird from your phone. eBird is compatible with Backyard Bird Count. Although many field guide apps feature self-contained life lists, this app updates your eBird account, which is then accessible from any web browser. Your data also help build the overall eBird database used by scientists.
Bird Identification Apps
There are many out there, but Audubon, Peterson, and National Geographic are some of the biggest and most respected names out there in birding, so I am listing them. Plus, while I only have the first one, it is kid friendly. Last year for Backyard Bird Count, there were some pretty expensive apps being offered for free. I will update this post if that happens again.
Audubon Birds Pro (821 species; 907 MB; $14.99; also available for Android)
Other backyard bird websites for kids
- Cornell is such a great resource for backyard birding. And they have a great kids’ section on their website.
- One family’s story on what they did when their child had a fear of birds. Might be a good read if your child has a sensory issue and doesn’t like birds. Not that you’d actually be handling any for these activities.
Adapting bird activities for special needs
These are a few things I will be doing while I do some of the above activities, for my disabled child.
- Working on sounds-bird sounds, bird names
- Language-new words, new sounds
- sensory-texture-touching seed, straw, twigs
- fine motor while doing some of these activities
- gross motor while doing some of the dances
Other sensory, fine motor skills to be gained:
- math (counting birds, feathers, etc.)
Get your kids excited about being outdoors!