I have recently been asked to put together some ideas to run an Eco day at the primary school where I work. This is something totally up my street and I am so excited about the plans we have coming together for it. What a brilliant opportunity to engage children in thinking about the environment and ways to protect it and preserve it for future generations. I really hope that it sparks their imagination in ways that makes being eco accessible and fun and something that they really care about.
Without giving too much away on the ideas, the simple bird feeder made from an orange is a really easy craft for all ages of children to enjoy. The teaching objective in this craft is not just to feed the birds and encourage more wildlife into the garden but also to teach the children how to make something that is biodegradable and zero waste.
You will need:
- 1 large orange (1 between 2 children is fine)
- 2 bamboo wood BBQ skewers per child
- Mixed birdseed
- First the children need to cut the oranges in half and then squeeze out the juice. This is a really practical way of showing that they don’t have to waste the orange, they can either eat it or drink it or could even take it home to dilute with water and make ice lollies using silicone molds. After this they should be left with the orange peel bowls. They might need to dry them with a paper towel if the oranges were very juicy. Smaller children will need them pre-cut or supervising with the cutting.
2. Next take a bamboo skewer and poke it through one side of the orange and out of the other side crossing through the middle. Poke the other bamboo skewer through the other side crossing through the first skewer through the middle. It might be a good idea to snip any very pointy ends off the skewers too.
3. Cut 4 pieces of twine about 50 cm long each and tie each end of the twine to each end of the skewers. Each orange bowl now has 2 twine hangers which cross at the top to hang the birdfeeder and keep it sturdy.
4. Fill the orange bowls with a mixed wild bird seed and hang on a tree. Try and keep them away from the tree trunk to avoid the squirrels taking it all (this happens a lot in our garden!) leaving plenty for the smaller birds to perch on the skewers to feed from the orange bowls.
I hope that the children get to see some birds enjoying tasty seed from their creations! There are many other ways of making a bird feeder like recycling an old milk carton or using empty tin cans. There are also some lovely wooden boxes too like I featured in my Christmas post The fourth day of an Eco Christmas. Another zero waste idea with oranges is to make them into Marmalade that would get the approval of Paddington Bear. Fingers crossed the activities we have planned go down well and I can’t wait to share more ideas and top tips for making a school eco day successful.