Friday, February 25, 2011

Cheerios Bird Feeder

The idea here is that you are making simple bird feeders, while working on the children's fine motor skills by having them thread Cheerios onto yarn. This sounds simple, but like everything involving children... it is not as simple as it seems. :)

Here's what you'll need:

  • Colorful yarn
  • Cheerios
  • Small bells
  • Glue
The important part is the preparation. You will need to cut the thread to the length you want, and tie the bell onto one end. The bells provide a stopper for the Cheerios, and are supposed to jingle if a bird picks at the string. Here's where it gets tricky. Most yarn is just too soft and thick for little fingers to thread a Cheerio onto. Either you will need to be careful to buy stiff thread or maybe twine, or you can do what I did. I applied school glue to the ends of the strings - rubbing it in with my fingers - then hung the strings up to dry. Once the glue was dry the ends of the strings were hard enough to act as needles for the children to thread the Cheerios onto. Also, you have to make sure you are using "real" Cheerios. The cheap generic brands tend not to have regular sized holes which can create frustration for the children.

Once you have everything prepared, the actual activity is super easy. I took the kids outside so I could leave it to the squirrels and birds to clean up any mess. I placed bowls of Cheerios in the center of the tables, and let them thread as many as they wanted onto the string. Once finished, we hung them on a tree outside our classroom window so we could see if any birds ate from our feeders.
I don't think the birds have figured out that these are food yet..
If nothing else, it looks really pretty. ;)


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