We had so much fun with our bird theme today! We made adorable bird hats and then collected bits of string and other materials to lace into a nest. This activity was suitable and enjoyable for my (almost) 3 year old, can easily be enriched for use with older children.
– Bird hat Pattern (cut out pieces for younger children)
– glue/tape/ stapler
– Coloured paper (card stock is ideal, especially if embellishing with feathers, but construction paper or printer paper would work as well)
– feathers, googly eyes or other tactile decorations (optional)
– hole punch
– thin cardboard (such as an old cereal box) or a paper/ Styrofoam bowl
-bits of string, twine, fabric strands, I even cut up the mesh plastic that our avocados came in
– large sewing needle or a pipe cleaner or piece of wire which can be twisted into a basic needle. (optional)
FOR THE HATS:
1. Cut two strips lengthwise from a piece of paper to be fastened into hat band. Adjust the size appropriately and tape/glue together.
2. Decorate the pieces of the bird. Add feathers to the wings or googly eyes if you have them available, otherwise decorate with markers or other on hand materials.
3.Attach the beak to the head of the bird by gluing just the bottom half of the beak down and folding the top half over. (see photographs)
4. Attach wings, tail feathers and head to the hat band. Each piece has a flat spot meant to be lined up with the bottom of the band. The flat areas of the wings are indicated on the pattern with a dotted line.
5. put on your hats and move on to nest building activity.
1. Have ready a Pre-cut and punched nest. I simply cut a half circle from a piece of cardboard, but I think a paper bowl that could be punched would also be wonderful. Punch out holes randomly all over your nest.
2. Also pre-“hide” strings and other nest building materials cleverly around your project area. I hung bits of string from chairs, doorknobs, draped off counter etc.
3. Fluttering and tweeting like little birds my son and I went around our kitchen looking for things to use to build a nest. He loved the treasure hunt and carrying things back to his nest in his “beak”.
4. Once enough string has been collected have or help the child lace the string through. We made it our goal to fill every hole, but use each hole only once. With this activity there is no need to worry about neat, orderly stitching as the chaos contributes nicely to the “nest” look of the finished product. Being not quite three, my son had a limited attention span for this activity, but was willing to help poke the “needle” through several times and did a lot of pulling thread through the card.
– Look at pictures of real birds and imitate color schemes when building hats. Find information about the habitat and even what the nest of that particular bird looks like.
– Older children may want to try to build a more realistic nest using mud and twigs.
– give more structure to the lacing activity. (lace along top holes first)
– Pretend to be a bird after you have made your bird hats. Where would you go? What would you eat if you were a bird?