What you need
- Containers from the recycling, such as plastic pots or large bottle caps
- Cookie cutters
- Long lengths of string
- 250g solid fat, such as suet
- 250g food scraps, like stale bread or fruit peelings
- 250g bird feed (available in supermarkets, pet shops or garden supply shops)
- Tin foil
- Colourful wool or ribbon
- Kitchen weighing scales
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Notepad and pen
What to do
- Now they’re ready to get cooking. First, supervise kids as they carefully melt the fat in the saucepan.
- As soon as it’s melted, remove it from the heat to let it cool (be sure to turn off the stove).
- When you’re sure it’s cool enough, kids can mix in the birdseed and scraps!
- Kids can then lay out molds flat on a baking tray. Any object that will hold the bird food mixture can be used – try cookie cutters, detergent bottle caps, even crazy shapes made from folded tin foil!
- Then, kids can lay a loop or length of string into each mold and spoon the mixture in, before placing the molds in the fridge to set overnight!
Have a go:
The next day, your young chefs are ready take their bird food dishes out of their molds. Why don’t they try pushing twigs or pencils into the dishes to add a perch for the birds to stand on?
Now they can find a good spot to hang them outside – in a garden… or on a balcony! If needed, give them a hand tying their bird café to branches or hanging flowerpots. If you don’t have easy access to outdoor space near your home, is there a family member or friend’s home where the kids could hang their café?
Try it out:
Remind kids to watch each day to see which birds most enjoy their café. It may take a few days for local birds to discover their new restaurant, so be patient. Kids can observe how the birds behave and make a note of which foods they seem to like best.