Make a natural bird feeder

A sensory activity that engages with natural ingredients and different textures.

Image shows bird feeder hanging in the tree surrounded by dark green leaves

It can also be used as a learning opportunity as it is important to feed our feathered friends in winter as they find it harder to find food. Assistance may be needed for melting the fat and pouring it, this can also be done in the microwave. Coconut oil melts at low temperatures so is better to use if you are worried about spilling.

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either in your own space or in an educational setting.

Who is this for?

This is a crafting activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities and can be enjoyed by anyone.

Why does this make a difference?

This is a creative and sensory activity that helps people learn by engaging with nature and using their senses to connect with their surroundings, exploring touch and different textures while supporting independent choice.

How to do this activity

What you’ll need

A table top with the items below laid out on it, with the saucepan in the centre. / --
  • Coconut oil or lard
  • Bird seed mix
  • Strong
  • Tray
  • Saucepan (or microwave and microwave safe dish)
  • Scissors
  • Spoon
  • Rinsed out yoghurt pot
  • Skewer or chopstick
A hand spooning some coconut oil into a saucepan

Step 1

Spoon some coconut oil or lard into the pan and melt on low.
A hand sprinkling in birdseed

Step 2

Sprinkle some of the birdseed into the pot, about a quarter full.
A saucepan and spoon is being used to pour oil over the seeds

Step 3

Carefully pour some of the oil onto the seeds and give a stir.
A mostly full cup of seed and oil

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the pot is almost full.
Image shows a chopstick poking out of the pot of seed and oil.

Step 5

Push your skewer or chopstick down through the middle of the pot and place it somewhere to set. The fridge is ideal.

Step 6

When it is solid, take the skewer or chopstick out of the pot and push out or cut away the yoghurt pot so that only the seed shape is left.
Hands tying string in a knot

Step 7

Cut a length of string, fold in half and tie a knot on one end. This knot must be bigger than the hole in the seed shape and have some ends. Thread this up through the seed shape so that the knot with tails is at the bottom.
Image shows string threaded through the feeder.

Step 8

Tie the skewer to the bottom of the feeder. This is so that the birds have something to sit on when they nibble the feeder.
Image shows bird feeder hanging in the tree surrounded by dark green leaves

Step 9

Hang it up outside for the birds! (it is worth noting this is only suitable to do when its relatively cold out as it will just melt in the summer!)