Squirrels can be real pests, so why make a squirrel feeder? My son loves animals. We spend a lot of time visiting the zoo and learning about the animals that live there. We’ve pet penguins and stingrays, fed giraffes, and seen tiger and elephant training. But you know what animal always lands near the top of his list of favorites? Squirrels. Your average, everyday, lives-in-the-backyard, gray squirrels.
He’s a big fan of penguins, monkeys, elephants and rhinos, too, but you would not believe how excited he gets every time he spots a furry little fluff-tailed critter running along the fence. We used to have a bird feeder that was, more accurately, a squirrel feeder, but some wasps took up residence in it last center and, short version of the story, it’s gone now.
The little guy is finally getting to an age where crafts and activities can get a little more elaborate. Instead of just scribbling with crayons, we’ve been playing with paints, stamps, and glue. He’s been better about following instruction so I thought we’d try a round of bird squirrel feeders.
These aren’t ground breaking. In fact, I remember making them when I was a kid, long before parents could source ideas like this from Pinterest and mom-blogs. None the less, we had a lot of messy fun making them.
The step by step photos below are technically a reenactment. I quickly realized taking photos while toddler wrangling and making squirrel feeders was near impossible unless I wanted everything smothered in peanut butter, so after we were done and all cleaned up, I snuck back outside to make one more so I could document the process. For this last one, I changed up where I put the holes so it would double as sort of a squirrel bench.
Also, if you have peanut or other nut allergies, simply swap out the peanut butter for another seed or nut butter and you’ll be good to go. Just be sure to verify the product is not a risk for cross contamination with any allergens.
DIY Squirrel Feeders
Before you begin, prep all your materials. You won’t want to be fumbling around trying o open your feedbags once you have peanut butter covered hands and toddlers. Using a hole punch, put two hole in a toilet paper roll then, using a butter knife, spread a thick coating of peanut butter on the roll. You can also use wooden popsicle sticks to spread the peanut butter if you prefer. For most of the rolls I did two holes on one end so they would hang vertically. On one one roll, I did the holes on opposite ends so it would hang horizontally.
Roll the peanut butter-covered toilet paper roll on a plate of bird and/or squirrel feed. I like to use a mid of the two. The smaller bird seeds fill in the holes that the corn and sunflower seeds don’t cover.
Once the peanut butter is covered with nuts and seeds, cut a long piece of yarn and run it through the two holes. You’ll use this to hang the feeder, so leave yourself plenty of extra so you can adjust the height of the squirrel feeder. It’s best if you can set these aside to dry a bit so the seeds don’t slide right off, but we all know how patient toddlers are, so our wen’t up as soon as we finished making them.
We also made a squirrel cake. After making the squirrel feeders out of toilet paper rolls, there was leftover seed but it had peanut butter on it. I didn’t want to put it back in the bag with the rest of the bird and squirrel feeds so I plopped on some more peanut butter, mixed in it, and used a cup to mold it into a neat little mound.
Pour bird feed and/or squirrel feed onto plate. Using the hole punch, place two holes in the toilet paper roll. Spread peanut butter on the paper roll. Set the coated roll on the plate of seeds. Cover with seeds. Cut a long piece of yarn and run it through the two holes. Set aside to dry or hang immediately.