Sunday, August 15, 2010

Attracting birds to the garden

Welcome to the August Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Science", because this is National Science Week. Science includes all sorts of practical activities and exploration and we have lots of different ideas in this carnival. Check out the links at the bottom to find some other great posts on science.


We live in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria so we naturally get a lot of wildlife coming to our property. We see lots of beautiful birds around but I wanted to do some activities with the kids that would attract these birds just a little closer.

The first thing we did was make some bird feeders. These are really so simple to make and the kids had some much fun making them! It was also a great sensory activity as the kids were able to get their hands into the mix to feel the different textures and help to press it into the molds. There was also a fair bit of tasting involved - luckily before we had put the seed in ;)

Bird feeders


1/2 cup polenta
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup bird seed


1. In a bowl combine polenta, peanut butter, sugar and flour. Stir in water
2. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is very thick
3. Stir in bird seed. Cool.
4. Press into a mold (we used small metal ramikins, lined with gladwrap). Add string if desired.
5. Put in the fridge to cool and harden.

We also made some pine cone feeders. These are pretty simple too! Put some string around the bottom to hang them and then fill the pine cone with peanut butter. I was a bit worried that we wouldn't be able to find any pine cones for doing this activity but luckily I happened to come across some when we were out one day recently. The things I get excited about lol!

Daddy and Jacob also made a birdhouse that we could hang in the the tree for the birds to nest in. Using these instructions it was quite easy to make and Jacob loved being able to help Daddy with some sawing, gluing and drilling.

Unfortunately it's been a bit wet the past couple of days so we haven't had a chance yet to hang all these things up for the birds. I promise I will update this post as soon as we have it all set up. Hopefully we will see lots of beautiful birds coming to visit soon!!


Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.


Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on "Science."
  • CatWay at Adventures With Kids is Magnifying It by playing with magnifying glasses and microscopes to help your child explore the world of the very small.

  • Deb Chitwood from Living Montessori Now was never very scientifically minded. One year, though, we participated in a homeschool co-op science fair. Two months later we moved and didn’t have the opportunity to participate in a science fair again. But that experience was a great learning opportunity – and, yes, it actually was fun!

  • Monique from Your Cheeky Monkey is commencing on the road of learning about the Human Body (both inside and out). Find out a few of the things we are doing to learn about our amazing bodies!

  • SMMART Ideas shows how you can enjoy making these sticky spiderwebs with your child, learn how spiders actually make their webs and other arachna-facts!

  • Amanda B at HomeAge says that science is not her forte, but for young children the world is one big science lesson. How do we answer all their questions so that these answers are meanings rather than facts?

  • Narelle from A Bunch of Keys has some simple kid friendly activities to do to help attract birds into the garden.

  • Deb from Science@home's daughter has decided to be an alienpologist, and she's reflecting on all the different ways kids are exposed to ideas and fun activities.

  • Staci at Teaching Money to Kids has a simple sorting activity that kids can do anywhere to get them to observe and compare.

  • Ash from Mm is for Me have been running their own family Science Week with lots of fun activities.
Thanks for visiting our carnival, we hope you find some interesting new blogs.


Kate said...

I can remember making the pine cones when I was little, I used to love it!! We will definitely be giving the other variety a go here, too...

Your Cheeky Monkey said...

Beautiful, love this post. My parents have kookaburra's at their house which they feed, so its always so much fun for my boys to help feed them when they are there.

Deb Chitwood @ Living Montessori Now said...

Great ideas for making bird feeders! I’ve made pine cone bird feeders with my children, but I’ve never made the molded ones or had the woodworking skills to make a wooden one. It’s nice that you gave directions for all 3 types.

CatWay said...

I think I will try your bird feeder recipe.
I've tried putting out bird seed before, but with little success at bringing birds to that spot. It only works if I put the seed where the birds already come to. So if you have any tips for that part?

Teaching Money to Kids said...

We have four nests on our house that we love watching: Robins and Mourning Doves

Narelle said...

It is lovely to see all the birds around. I wish we could find a nest but somehow we never seem to!

Cat, Hmmm, I'm not sure! Is there lots of leaves for them to hide in/branches to perch on where you are trying to attract them to? You could always try planting some natives or putting out a bird bath or something.

Ashleigh said...

It looks like you had so much fun! I love the pic of your little concentrating on spreading the mix - its so precious! Look forward to seeing pics of them all up! Hope you get some lovely weather soon!

SMMART ideas said...

So great to feed the birds...and so much fun! In the winter, you can freeze berries and birdseed in water in a molds. Leave a piece of yarn hanging out of the mold, to use as a hanger. Then hang the beautiful, shimmering ice ornaments out on your trees. Eventually when they melt, the berries and seeds will fall to the ground for the birds.

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