Today’s advent activity for us has been to make bird feeders for the birds in the garden. This is part of our theme of thinking of others – animals included – over the Christmas period. My 3 year old managed to do all the tasks here herself (except the craft knife cutting of course) and was really pleased with what she’d made. We chatted about why we’re putting extra feed out for the birds in winter, what they like to eat and where the seeds come from.
Here’s how we made our Milk Carton Cafe.
1. You will need: a 1 pint milk carton with a lid, a craft knife, bird seed, lard (at room temperature so it’s squashable), raisins, a twig (about 15cm long), a dessert spoon and a teaspoon
2. Cut two holes for the twig to go through about 2cm up from the base of the milk carton. I used a craft knife to do this and made a triangular shaped hole – it’s clearly not something the children should do by themselves. You want the twig to fit through snuggly so it stays in place so just make a small hole. Make two larger holes above so the birds will be able to sit on the twig and get at the cafe through these larger holes.
3. Poke the twig through the two smaller holes to make your bird seat.
4. Next mix up your feast. We used lard, a mixed wild bird seed and some raisins. We found using the larger spoon worked best as we could squish and squash the ingredients together.
5. Use the smaller spoon to put the food into the milk carton and squash it down with the back of the spoon as you go.
6. Put the lid on the carton to keep any rain out and your cafe is ready to go outside. You can place it on a bird table, wall or window ledge or use the handle (perhaps with some string threaded through) to hang it from a tree, hook or nail. Then keep watch and see if you can name all the birds who come to eat.