Here’s a fun challenge…can you build a nest using natural materials just like real birds do? NO GLUE OR TAPE ALLOWED!!! This “Make A Birds Nest” STEAM project is a fun way to challenge your kids and get them testing out their ideas and problem solving.
STEAM projects (science, technology, engineering, art and math) are a great way for kids to extend their skills across a wide curriculum area. This hands-on make a birds nest STEAM project will give kids lots of opportunities to develop their creative and analytical thinking whilst engaging with Nature and learning about the natural wildlife around them.
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Introducing The Project – Getting Outside To Watch Real Birds Nest Building
This “Make A Nest STEAM Project” is fun for anytime of year but I love to introduce it to kids the most in the Spring. Springtime is a great time of year to get outside and quietly watch your neighbourhood birds. While the trees and hedges are still bare of leaves it’s much easier to see birds activity and you might be lucky enough to see some signs of real nest building.
On our bird watching sessions we’ve seen quiet a few different activities taking place in our garden and village. In the mornings our pampas grass is full of Sparrows collecting soft fluffy seed heads which we guess they are using to line their nests. In the Ivy on our Oak tree we have been watching a tiny Wren darting in and out with its beak full of nesting material. And in the tall trees by the village church we’ve been watching the Crows actually using their beaks to snap twigs off low branches and then fly up to the high branches to add them to their nests.
We’ve followed up our bird watching with some researching from books and online. It’s amazing to see all the different types of nests that birds can build just using materials found around them and no tools. They truly are fantastic engineers! Now are you ready to try your own Make A Birds Nest STEAM Project?
Make A Birds Nest STEAM Project Supplies
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- Paper Plate
- Natural Materials – e.g. twigs, leaves, grass, moss etc.
We start the hands on part of this STEAM project by going outside and collecting a range of natural materials that the children think they might be able to use to make a birds nest such as twigs, moss, feathers, grass etc. You might find bits of yarn or sting that could be used too, if not you can always add these in from your craft supplies.
Back inside we lay our materials out on the table and I give each child a paper plate and a pair of scissors they can use if they want to.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about building a birds nest and kids of all ages can experiment with using the materials in different ways to create the most functional nest they can.
Make A Birds Nest STEAM Project Questions
Here’s some of the questions I like to ask to give a focus and challenge. (Older children may be able to set their own challenges.):
- How strong can you make a birds nest?
- Will your birds nest stay together in a wind? (You can test it with a hairdryer.)
- How deep does your nest need to be to keep the eggs safe?
- Would your birds nest be comfortable?
- What happens if it rains?
- Will water collect inside or drain away? (You can test it with a watering can.)
Ways To Build A Birds Nest
There’s no right or wrong way to build a birds nest so children of all ages can have fun with this STEAM project. Using some of the questions above may help to focus their building methods. What’s really important is that kids get the opportunity to try out their own ideas and problem solve.
By trial and error and a collapsed nest or two my children decided that they needed to create a firm framework to build the nest around. My youngest started building his birds nest by binding sticks together with long pieces of grass. My older son decided to use the paper plate as a starting point and made holes in it to thread his first few sticks into. See the picture above.
Once they’d got a frame they started weaving sticks in to gaps to build the sides of the nest up. One of my sons opted for sticks and the other chose ivy. They both chose to line their nest with moss and feathers.
They finished off their nest building challenge by making some eggs to go inside. One made use of the white plastic bag we’d collected our nature supplies in and one wrapped coloured yarn around short twigs.
Not only do their nests look fabulous but this Make a Birds Nest STEAM Project gave the children super opportunities to learn about Nature and to develop their creative and analytical thinking. Are you up to the challenge too? Have fun!
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