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Attract Butterflies to Your Garden with a Handmade Butterfly Feeder

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Attract Butterflies to Your Garden with a Handmade Butterfly Feeder

 

from 101 Things for Kids To Do Outside by Dawn Isaac

Butterflies are a lot like children. They are both more than happy just eating sugar. However, unlike children, butterflies can do this without running around like maniacs afterwards and feeling slightly ill.

So, why not use some sugar to set up a butterfly feeder in your backyard and watch to see which butterflies visit?

Make a Butterfly Feeder

What you need:
Water
Sugar
Pan
Jar with lid
Acrylic pens
String or twine
Hammer and nail
Sponge or cotton swab

How to make it:
1. First, ask a grown-up to make your sugar water. This is done by dissolving one tablespoon of sugar in nine tablespoons of water by heating it in a pan.
2. While that cools down, you can construct the feeder. Take a small jar and decorate it with brightly colored flowers. You could tape on paper shapes, but it will last longer if you draw them on using acrylic paint pens.
3. Next, take your string or twine and cut four lengths at least three times longer than the jar itself. Take each piece and, making sure you have an equal length either side, tie it around the neck of the jar, finishing in a knot. Do the same with the next piece, this time making sure the knot is on the opposite side. The final two pieces should end with the knots halfway between the other two so that all four knots are equally spaced.
4. Now turn the jar upside down before taking a piece of string from each of two adjacent knots and tying them together about 1 inch up the string. Do this with all the other pieces until you can see a net pattern forming. Repeat this with the second layer of knots and continue until you reach the top of the jar.
5. You will now need to add a hole to the jar lid. You can do this by hammering through a nail (which is best done by a grown-up). Next, take your small piece of sponge or cotton swab and thread it through the hole so some is poking out of both sides. It should be a snug fit so that the water soaks the sponge but doesn’t drip off (you can experiment until you get it right).
6. Finally, fill the jar with the sugar water, put on the lid and use the string, bunched together, to hang it somewhere in the yard where the butterflies can see it — a sunny spot is best. Now see how many butterflies visit and if you can identify them all.

TIP: To make your jar even more colorful, use brightly colored twine rather than plain string.

 

Share your butterfly feeder with us as part of the #FireflyGreatOutdoorsChallenge. Learn more here.

 


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