Learn how to make your own bird's nest with this make a bird's activity for kids. Spring is a wonderful time of year to explore birds and their nests with your child!
This nest making activity is wonderful for kids in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school.
A fun hands-on nature inspired science activity to do when learning about birds. Even as an adult, I really enjoyed this activity!
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- Upper Elementary
You can do this bird activity with a wide range of ages. From young children in preschool along with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. You can even do this activity with older children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.
Perfect for nature camps, homeschool, or even just as a fun family activity to do together! And of course, adult supervision is required for all parts of this activity.
Skills to Practice
- Fine Motor Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Making Observations
A fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activity that lets kids practice important skills.
Children can observe an analyze a real birds nest along with determining what natural materials are used to make a nest.
As they work on creating their own, kids practice fine motor skills and problem solving. All while having fun and being creative!
This nature activity is completely free to create. I was able to gather everything I needed right outside in my own yard.
Head outside and collect one handful of each:
- Long Dry Grass
- Short Grass
- Dried Leaves
- Small Twigs
- Dried Foliage (Ferns, Small Leaves, or Flower Stems)
- 1 Pair of Scissors
- 1 Basket or Baggie
- Bowl for the Mud
- Real Birds Nests or Images of Nests
- Activity Sheets
- Optional: A Bowl for Shaping the Nest
I decided to use only natural materials for this nest building activity. This lets kids think about how birds use what they find outdoors to construct their own nest.
Along with the supplies, let your child observe a real nest or images of real birds nests before heading outside.
Its okay to let kids get creative. They may find something else that they think will work well that is not on the list above!
Bring along scissors and cut a few different dried grasses or plant stems. Then place everything inside of a basket or baggie.
Tip: I recommend cutting the long grass because sometimes the edges are sharp. If you try to pull you may cut your hand.
First, observe a real nest or images of real birds nests (books are wonderful resources). Then have your child draw one of the nests on their activity sheet.
Discuss what items the bird used to make the nest and the appearance of the nest. Once done, head outside with your basket to gather natural items.
Now its time to build your own nest using only the natural materials you collected. You can provide guidance or let your child figure out how to create the nest on their own.
After, give your child time to draw the nest they built. Then discuss the nests you made and the supplies you made.
If you used mud, let the nests dry for 24 hours.
I love how there is no right or wrong way to create a birds nest. The fun part about this activity is having to use critical thinking and problem solving skills to make your own nest!
Use real bird's nests for inspiration. They often use different types of grass and even mud. Adding mud will help the grasses stick together, just like glue!
Helpful Tip: Let young children create their nest within a bowl. This will let them create the circular shape.
If your child is having a hard time forming the materials into a circle, let them built it within a small bowl.
I was able to twist and shape the grass into a circle, but children may not be able to do that step themselves.
Once I had the main shape, I added in dried leaves and thin grass into the middle. As I added each material I curved the grasses to make a circular shape.
To hold the nest together, I added mud on the bottom. In the wild, birds like robin's will add mud to the base of their nests. Mud is definitely optional as it made quiet a mess, but of course messes are part of the fun!
After the nests dry, kids can compare their nest to a real birds nest. You can even see if the nest holds eggs just like a real bird's nest!
Turn this activity into a science lesson by incorporating a little drawing, observing, and writing.
- Observations of a Real Nest
- Material List
- Drawing of their Nest
- Compare and Contrasting Nests
You can get your free copies at the bottom of this post.
An easy way to extend this activity is to have your child fill out the activity sheets. As they make observations and create their own drawings, they are practicing important science skills!
Kids can place the sheets within a nature journal or science notebook. Once they are done with the activity, kids can talk about the nest they made and the materials that they used.
Learn all about birds with these additional activities. Great for unit studies when exploring birds with your kids!
- 14 Bird Books for Kids
- Bird Toys and Activities
- Nest and Egg Coloring Pages
- Backyard Bird BINGO Printable
These printables were created by Nature Inspired Learning and are for personal use only for your home, classroom, or public library. All of these building a nest activity sheets are for non-commercial use. See full disclosure.
- PDF downloadable Activity Sheets
- Great for nature journaling or science notebooks
- Black and white designs that are printer friendly!
- 1 Handful of Long Dry Grass
- 1 Handful of Short Thin Grass
- 1 Handful of Dry Leaves
- 1 Handful of Mud
- 2 Small Bowls
1. Using the long dry grass, twist and wrap to create a circle
2. Fill in the center of the circle using short thin dry grass
3. Shape the thin grass into a curved shape using your hands
4. Add in dry leaves and sticks to the outside of the nest
5. Optional: Add mud in the cracks to hold the materials together
You can do this activity several different ways. Kids can attempt to make their nests using only the supplies they gathered and no other directions. Or you can walk through the steps together.
Younger kids benefit from building the nest within a bowl. The bowl will help create the circle shape of the birds nest.
If you use mud, let the nest dry for 24 hours.