Build a Birdhouse With Your Kids

Building birdhouses with your kids is not only good for their creative skills but it can also help develop motor skills and help  your child build a better understanding of nature.

Here are some simple ideas for s birdhouses to make. Get an empty half-gallon milk carton.  Make sure that the milk carton is washed thoroughly and dried before you start. Staple the carton shut and then wrap the entire carton with two-inch wide masking tape. Next color it with shoe polish or a marker taking care that you try and make it look like tree bark.  A hole in the side of the carton can serve as a doorway.  Make sure there are also several holes poked in the bottom so rainwater can drain out.  String this birdhouse from a tree and you are done. 

You can also build a birdhouse using paper mache and balloons.  This type of birdhouse is completely round. The recipe for papier mache is to boil newspapers boiled in water for half an hour. Then add two cups of flour.  Layer newspaper strips around the balloon but make sure you patch in a hole so that birds have some way of getting in. Once it is dry you pop the balloon, take it out of the shell you made with paper and color it with bright paint. You can then hang it from a tree. 

A very simple birdfeeder can be created from an old straw hat. Make a hole in the side of the hat for a doorway and suspend it from a tree. The birds will perch on the rim of the hat.  If you hang it low enough you can put birdseed in the hat hollow. Nesting shelves are also easy for kids to build. They attract birds like phoebes, robins and swallows. All you need is a wooden box that is about the size of a shoebox. You simply hang it on a hook so it can hang vertically. This allows the birds to build their nests in the open cavity.  This type of birdhouse allows your kids to observe the birds and it can easily be nailed to a front porch post or fence post. 

If you want to attract doves try building a nesting cone. Simply take a foot long length of finely meshed screen and wrap it into a cone shape. You can than wire it into a tree. Be sure to place it high up in a tree so the dove sees it as a safe place. The dove will see the cone shape as a friendly place to build a nest. 

Bird watching is a fun, inexpensive activity for families.  All year long you can watch the variety of birds that come to visit. If your child can handle a hammer, nails and glue there are a large variety of plans for birdhouses that kid can make available for free on the internet. Usually the provider of the plans can tell you what age group the project is best suited for. You can also find plans for birdhouses at your local library.