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Toddler Talk: Bird Feeder

My kids are both obsessed with our backyard birds, so when I suggested making a feeder for them, my daughter was completely onboard.

To make a bird feeder, you will need:

a shallow tray (trust me, you will appreciate this tray if a toddler is helping you)

a toilet paper or paper towel roll

two twigs


some sort of yarn or string

peanut butter or shortening


Using scissors, poke two holes on opposite sides of the tube for each branch. I set the branches at a roughly 90-degree angle to give the birds more seating options. I poked two smaller holes at the top, strung the yarn through those and tied a knot to make a loop for hanging. I set my daughter, S, up with a small container of peanut butter (if your child has a nut allergy, shortening is a fine substitute), a very dull butter knife (you could also use a spoon if you are worried about your child with a butter knife) and let her get to work.

After awhile you may find your child wants to ditch the knife and use her hands. It's all good!

After washing those peanut buttery hands, present the bowl of birdseed (please note if your child has a nut allergy there is often cross contamination with peanuts and birdseed, so check the bag carefully!) and let your kid sprinkle away. She might want to dump or roll the bird feeder in the seeds—anything goes. Birds are fortunately very flexible about how their food is presented.

And finally, find a tree or hook to hang your birdfeeder and sit back and enjoy. It took our birds a day or two to get used to the feeder and then they really enjoyed it. Our resident woodpecker visited it nearly every day, much to my daughter's delight!

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