Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

Building bird feeders with your kids isn’t only doing something nice for the birds. It’s also great for your kids! You can encourage a great sense of capability by trusting them to use real tools to get the project done. 

Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

I have many warm childhood memories of spending time in my Grandpa’s workshop. He and my Dad brought ideas to life. For example, at 9-years old, I wanted to give my 4th grade teacher a decorative wooden sleigh for Christmas. My Dad and Grandpa made it happen and immediately put me to work sanding the wood. Bird houses and bird feeders were very common workshop projects and someone was always introducing a new design – like my Dad’s famous Peanut Butter Sticks. Recently, he invited my boys down to his workshop for their first bird feeder project. Excited as could be, they dressed themselves up in work helmets and tool belts, slipped on their shoes, and walked down the dusty stairs to Grandpa’s workshop.

What a sight for their young eyes to take in! Wood shavings covered nearly every surface and there was a spread of tools bigger than a Sunday brunch! As I watched my boys build with their Grandpa, I began to realize that woodworking offers children so much more than a finished product. When children are introduced to real tools, their self-esteem sky rockets due to the level of adult trust being bestowed upon them. My oldest son felt grown-up, determined, focused, capable, and proud!

Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

Working with real tools develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Listening and information recall skills are constantly tested, as the child must be safety conscious and demonstrate that they can be trusted to use the tools properly, safely and respectfully.

Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

How to Build a Peanut Butter Stick Bird Feeder

You’ll Need:

  • Drill with 7/8″ bit
  • Handsaw
  • A sturdy, thick, 16″ branch (or cut log) with bark
  • Rope
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Birdseed

NOTE: An adult must assist and supervise the child using the tools 100% of the time.

1. Cut branch to size.

2. Drill 5 alternating holes straight down through the branch, spaced 3-4 inches apart.

Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

3. Drill a small hole near the top and insert rope to hang the bird feeder.

4. Combine the peanut butter and birdseed in a reusable container. Using a small knife or your fingers, fill each hole of the bird feeder with the peanut butter mixture.

Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

5. Hang and enjoy! This type of bird feeder readily attracts Woodpeckers, Chickadees, and Grey Squirrels.

Building Bird Feeders with Real Tools

How do you encourage a sense of pride and capability in your kids?



  1. Oh how cute! I love that idea Melissa. 🙂



  2. That looks awesome! I am going to get my husband to do this with the kids. He’s got plenty of tools and they would love learning to use them!!


  1. […] and creative way to make hanging shape bird feeders as well as the benefits of letting your child use real tools to build a bird feeder. But we don’t want to stop there! Here are even more inspiring links about […]