St. Francis of Assisi Bird Feeders

UPDATE: This article & freebie were originally written for Today's Catholic Teacher. Today's Catholic Teacher has stopped publishing their magazine and recently shut down their website. I've moved the article and freebies here so that you can still access them. Sorry for the confusion with old links that no longer work. Hopefully we have that all taken care of now.

We often associate St. Francis of Assisi with all things nature! With fall here and winter fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to tie in the Feast Day of St. Francis (October 4) with a great fall activity - making bird feeders. With just a few simple supplies (toilet paper tube, popsicle stick, peanut butter, birdseed and a marker) you can create an adorable bird feeder and enjoy God's creation as you watch birds flock to it.
Super cute St. Francis of Assisi bird feeder craft. Great way to connect with God, nature and a favorite saint.

St. Francis of Assisi is often known for his love of animals and nature.  There is even a famous story that St. Francis preached to hundreds of birds about giving thanks to God for their clothes, independence and for God’s care. Children commonly associate St. Francis with animals and the outdoors because of stories like this. What better way to celebrate St. Francis than to create a St. Francis Bird Feeder to feed his beloved animals.

Supplies Needed:

Empty toilet paper tube

Black marker

Sharp Knife

Wide popsicle stick/tongue depressor

Peanut butter

Butter knife/popsicle stick for spreading the peanut butter

Bird seed

OPTIONAL: Hole punch and string

To Prepare St. Francis Bird Feeder:

Using the knife, carefully cut two slits in the toilet paper tube for the arms. These slits should be a little less than halfway down the tube. For safety purposes, have an adult do this or prepare this step ahead of time.

Slide the popsicle stick through both slits to look like outstretched arms.

Use the marker to draw a face for St. Francis. Show students some artist renderings of St. Francis to help give them an idea.

Take a butter knife or a popsicle stick and spread the peanut butter all over St. Francis’ body and arms. Sprinkle bird seed all over the peanut butter. You could also gently roll the toilet paper roll in the bird seed and then just sprinkle it on the arms.

Set the feeder over a branch for birds to enjoy. If you want the feeder to hang, punch two holes in the top and tie a string through them. Now, St. Francis’ outstretched arms are waiting for his friends, the birds, to come visit.

Extension Activity:

Before adding the peanut butter, have older students write a prayer to St. Francis or even the words to the Prayer of St. Francis with marker onto the toilet paper roll. As the birds eat the seed, the prayer will be left behind.