Make an Easy Bird Feeder | Education

In this hands-on math activity, you and your child will create a bird feeder using fruit and cereal that will make the birds in your neighborhood sing with joy!

Learning Goals

This activity will help your child:

  • Sort food items into sets using attributes like color, scent and texture
  • Copy and create repeating patterns
  • Practice fine motor skills


  • Pipe cleaners
  • Hole-shaped cereal
  • Blueberries
  • Ribbon


  • An attribute is a quality, characteristic, or property that describes something (for example, color, shape, size, texture, or number).
  • A set is any collection of things that is grouped together in a meaningful way.
  • To classify or sort is to arrange objects into groups based on their attributes. We can classify objects in more than one way.
  • A pattern is a sequence of things that repeats over and over and follows a rule. Patterns help children predict what comes next and are an important area of ​​mathematics.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Make observations. Lay out your cereal and blueberries on a surface for your child to make observations about their attributes, such as color, texture, scent, taste and size.

2. Explore sorting. Have your child sort the food items into different piles (sets) by one or more of these attributes. You can incorporate extra sorting into this activity by using a cereal that comes in various colors — snacking while you sort is okay!

3. Create patterns. Ask your child to create patterns using the cereal and berries. You can start by laying out a pattern for them to copy like “blueberry, cereal, cereal.” When they finish copying the sequence, ask, “What comes next?” Then, encourage your child to create their own repeating pattern!

4. Make your bird feeder. Make a small loop at the end of the pipe cleaner so that the food items will not slip off. Then, have your child slide the food items onto the pipe cleaner in a repeating pattern. You can help them with the berries.

When the pipe cleaner is full, fasten the two ends of the pipe cleaner by twisting the ends together. Help your child bend the pipe cleaner into a circle, heart or another fun shape.

5. Hang your bird feeder. Use ribbon to hang the bird feeder from a tree or fixture outside your home. Then, watch for birds and make observations about what snacks they enjoy the most!

Inspired by Happy Hooligans’ Homemade Bird Feeders with Cheerios and Blueberries.

Keep the Conversation Going

Book Suggestions

“Inch by Inch” “Pulgada a Pulgada” (Ages 2-5)
Written and Illustrated by Leo Lionni
Introduce your child to basic measurement concepts with this creative story about a resourceful inchworm.

“Inch by Inch” by Leo Lionni

Corresponding Standards

California Preschool Learning Foundations

  • Algebra and Functions
    • 1.0: Children expand their understanding of sorting and classifying objects in their everyday environments.
    • 1.1 Sort and classify objects by one or more attributes, into one or more groups, with increasing accuracy.

Head Start Early Learning Outcome Framework

  • Goal P-Math 7: Child understands simple patterns.

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