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DIY Birdfeeder: An Eco-Ninja Project for Kids
Sunday, 01 December 2013 00:00  |  Written by Jessica Dallas | Blog Entry

Pinecone Bird Feeder by spierzchalaI love to do environmental projects around my neighborhood to better it. And I always try to make them into fun and educational activities that include all of the children in the family. In this regard, I’ve devised an ongoing ritual known to many as “Eco Ninja.” These are stealth projects that are undertaken by only the bravest and craftiest among us… usually the children. They’re fearless. Being small and quick doesn't hurt either.

For this month’s eco-ninja mission we made birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed. It’s an easy process and you may recall doing it when you were a kid. We then raced around the neighborhood, placing them in spots where we wanted to attract birds. [Be careful not to trespass. - Ed.]

For this mission, I enlisted the help of my 18-month-old son. I did most of the undercover activity, while my toddler spent his time trying to knock the birdfeeders down once they were finally suspended.

The assembly of the birdfeeders is quite easy and has a sense of beauty in its simplicity, especially to younger members of the family. Peanut butter likes to stick to little fingers, the birdseed is silky to the palms of your hands, and each nook and crevice of the pine cone calls out for filling.

The materials you need are:

  • Birdseed
  • Peanut butter
  • A spatula or spoon
  • Fishing line
  • Pine cones

Here’s a step-by-step description of the process:

  1. Obtain four or more pine cones.

    Four Pinecones by Dallas
  2. Spread peanut butter all over the pine cones, carefully getting into the nooks and crevices.

    Putting on the Peanut Butter by babyparentingguide
  3. Roll the pine cones spread with peanut butter in birdseed, carefully covering all of the peanut-buttered surfaces.

    Adding the Birdseed by babyparentingguide
  4. Tie a piece of fishing line around the widest end of the pine cone and securely fix a loop from which to suspend the feeder. Make sure it is stable.

    Adding the String by Jessica Dallas
  5. Hang the pine cone by the fishing-line loop from whatever surface you deem appropriate.

    The Finished Birdfeeder by Jessica Dallas

I took the time to find spaces that could use a bit of life, color and music (three attributes that birds have in spades): abandoned buildings, crumbling decks, homes that looked a bit down-and-out, etc.

I have to confess it was a bit of a rush—to run onto someone’s lawn and leave a little present hanging from the nearest rusty nail. (Again, my 18-month-old wasn’t much help as a lookout or assistant, but he seemed to enjoy all of the hustle and bustle.)

I’ve decided to attempt this once more when my nephews are over to play with my nine-year-old stepson. This sounds like just the Eco Ninja project for a bunch of school-aged boys.

Hope you have as much fun as we did!

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