Make a bird nest using recycled materials with your kids the next time you have a couple of hours free.
It will your give those little busy fingers something to do, it’s perfect if you’re learning about birds and it will encourage some good old fashioned pretend play.
Plus reusing materials means so no excess waste to add to the environment!
What you ‘ll need
- At least three to four large boxes
- Plenty of sticky tape (the thicker, the better!)
- A good craft glue
- Natural materials a bird might use in their nest (hunt in your backyard or local park). We used bark, sticks and leaves.
- Recycled materials. We cut up strips of newspaper, shredded paper and left over material from the sewing box.
How to make a bird nest using recycled materials
I wanted to surprise my three daughters when they woke up after their midday sleep so I made the structure of the nest while they napped.
Check out the fun we had!
- Unlock all the boxes until they lay flat.
- Cut down one side of each box so that box rolls out to one long length.
- Use the flaps of the cardboard box to help sit it up and join the boxes together with sticky tape. Make sure the flaps sit inside the circle.
- Use the creases in the boxes to move it into a circular shape.
- Join all the boxes until they make a circle. With any leftover boxes, we stuck them to the flaps on the floor of the nest.
- Secure the nest by adding sticky tape to every join or anywhere that feels a little wobbly.
- If you used different sized boxes, your nest may be uneven around the top. Just use a Stanley knife to even them up (adults only)
I set aside all the decorating materials and waited for my eldest daughter to wake up. When she finally came out rubbing her eyes, she saw the nest and became wide-awake right away. I asked if she’d like to decorate the nest with me and she was excited instantly.
As the twins woke up, each helped my eldest daughter decorate the nest (with a little help from Mum).
Ask the kids to help you decorate your nest. Use bark, leaves, shredded paper and stick it onto the outside of the cardboard. Add the softer material and recycled newspaper to the inside of the nest.
It was so nice to construct something with big boxes again. The last time we made something using boxes it was a big giraffe but that was quite a while ago.
It didn’t take long for the girls to jump inside and start pretending to be a birds. My eldest daughter wanted to be an egg, so we covered her in a white sheet and she cracked open and chirped for her food. It was so lovely to pretend to be a family of birds, especially since my eldest had a fear of birds at one stage.
Even the twins were really getting into it and flew around the nest giving their little lungs a work out from all the chirping.
It was also really comfy in the nest and they sat in there and played for ages.
It only took me 15 minutes to create the nest and get the materials ready but it encouraged hours of playful fun for the girls.
Even though we were playing, we were learning about nesting birds too and we didn’t even realize it!
Extend on learning by using the follow on activities below.
What have you made using a cardboard box lately?