Kitchen Crafts Bird Feeder

Children will learn about bird habitats and make a bird feeder.

Lesson Objective

Children will learn about what birds need in their habitat and create a bird feeder to add to the habitat of a bird.


What You'll Need

  • Pine cones – 1 for each child
  • Vegetable shortening – 2 cups
  • Birdseed – 4 cups
  • Cornmeal – 3 cups
  • Flour – 1 cup
  • Paper plates – 1 for each child
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large wooden spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic knives – 1 for each child
  • Yarn – a 12” piece for each child

What To Do

  1. Have the children help you measure all of the ingredients and place them in the large mixing bowl.
  2. Let the children take turns mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. They can use the wooden spoon or their hands.
  3. Place a spoonful of the mixture onto a paper plate for each child.
  4. Give each child a pine cone, a plastic knife, and a plate of the mixture. 
  5. Show the children how to use the plastic knife to spread the mixture all over the pine cone.
  6. Pour some additional birdseed on a clean paper plate. 
  7. Let each child roll their pine cone in the birdseed.
  8. Tie a piece of yarn around each pine cone for hanging.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • What do we know about where birds live, their habitat?
  • What do we know about what birds eat?
  • How will making a bird feeder help the bird’s habitat?
  • How do we get food in our habitat?
  • How is a habitat like our own neighborhood?

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • During morning meeting/circle time, ask the children if they saw any birds on their way to school. “Where were the birds?” “What were the birds doing?” Talk about why birds are so busy in the springtime. (They are collecting things to build their nests and food to eat because they need a lot of food for energy.)
  • During music/movement time, give the children scarves or pieces of construction paper and encourage them to fly like birds. They can whistle, tweet, caw, and chirp while they “fly.”
  • Hang several of the feeders outside the classroom window and observe birds coming to the feeder.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Do the children understand what a habitat is?
  • Do the children understand how the bird feeder contributes to a bird’s habitat?


Did You Know

A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives or a plant naturally grows. A habitat includes five very important elements: food, water, air, shelter, and space. A healthy habitat provides everything that an animal needs to survive and grow properly. Birds live in a variety of habitats. Some birds can live in suburban environments and even cities. Some birds require large tracts of woodland or grassland.

Birds need a lot of energy to fly. To get this energy, they eat a lot. Most birds eat insects, nuts, seeds, or meat. These foods are high in protein and fat. A few birds, such as geese, eat grass, leaves, and other plants.

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • bird – an animal with two wings, two feet, and feathers; most birds can fly.
  • nest – a place made of sticks and other material that birds make to hold their eggs.
  • habitat – the natural place or home of an animal or plant.
  • pine cone – the scaly cone sometimes called the fruit of a pine tree.
  • seeds  the small parts of plants with flowers that grow into new plants.
  • bird feeder – a place where birds can get food.

Lesson Tips

  • This is a messy activity. You may want to have the children wear smocks.
  • Peanut butter can be used instead of vegetable shortening.
  • The bird feeders should be hung up outdoors as soon as possible, otherwise put them in the refrigerator or freezer.


  • Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  • The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman
  • Birds by Kevin Henkes
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

Home/School Connections

Las Conexiones a la Casa

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Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS