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A woman painting a bird box outdoors.

Create a bird café

Encourage your kids to nurture the bird life outdoors. Setting up a bird café is a rewarding way for kids to attract and feed birds.

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

  • Saucepan

  • Notepad and pen

What to do

Get Ready:

  1. Now they’re ready to get cooking. First, supervise kids as they carefully melt the fat in the saucepan.

  2. As soon as it’s melted, remove it from the heat to let it cool (be sure to turn off the stove).

  3. When you’re sure it’s cool enough, kids can mix in the birdseed and scraps!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.