I have dreamed of setting up a build a bird nest sensory activity for Little Bee since last year. Over the year, I saved fun items for our Montessori Inspired Bird Unit and building a nest activity. Little Bee loves sensory play and this activity was a wonderful tactile experience for him.
Before we built our own nest, Little Bee examined a "real" nest that I found on the ground after a storm. He used his magnifying glass to look closely at how the bird wove the dried grass in and out to form the circular shape. I lined the nest with soft feathers and seed pod fluff to make a cozy spot for several wooden eggs to lay. Little Bee placed a sweet singing bird on top of the eggs to keep them warm. As Little Bee played and explored the nest, I told him about the life-cycle of the birds. We also read the book called, "Nest" to learn more about the life of a bird. Little Bee and I have played an "I Spy" game on our daily spring walks around the neighborhood. While the trees are still bare of their leaves, we have been able to spot abandoned bird nests from last year. Little Bee has a sharp eye and can easily spot the bird's nests or squirrel nests. I took a few pictures of our favorite ones.
I set up this beautiful "build a bird nest" sensory tray of materials for Little Bee to build his own nest.
Materials for "Build a Bird Nest" Sensory Tray
- Chamomile Calming Play Dough
- Wooden Bowl
- Small Craft Bird and Craft Blue Eggs
- "Real" Green Moss
- Paper Shreds (green, tan, or brown)
- Real "Dried" Grass (found outside)
- Little Sticks (found outside)
- Pulled Apart Cotton Balls or Inside of Seed Pods (for lining the nest)
We took the sensory tray outside and Little Bee used the wooden bowl as a base to build his nest. He smushed the "calming" play dough along the sides of the bowl and then stuck various pieces of bird building material to the sticky sides. The little "craft" bird helped carry the materials to the nest as Little Bee built it.
Next we went back inside the house because Little Bee wanted to build a second nest and I needed to find another wooden bowl.
I also got in on the fun! Instead of using a wooden bowl, I created my own nest structure from bendable bead wire. I enjoyed using the creative side of my brain to form this circular structure. If you have an older child, they may enjoy thinking up ways to build a structure to support a DIY birds nest. After I had completed building the wire structure, I smushed the play dough into all the spaces. Then I added the other bird building materials by weaving them along the structure or sticking the pieces into the play dough. After I was done, I left the completed nest out on the counter for several days to dry. It dried into a beautiful hardened nest for future sensory play activities.
Please also visit our ~ Montessori Inspired Bird Unit
Wow! This nest is so cute! Such a wonderful project! O like when craft connects with learning
Brilliant! It looks beautiful, I’m sure my little girl would love this one!
Carolyn Lucento says
I absolutely love this idea, Vanessa. Little Bee created some awesome masterpieces!
This is very neat! What a great way to use our senses and explore while learning all about shape and texture. Found you on Pinterest and pinned you to our Science – Natural World board. 🙂
Love this. I am curious where you found the white tray ?
Mama's Happy Hive says
Karen Painter says
Thank you for this! I am creating a bird unit for my daughter and my mom gave us two beautiful bird nests she found when doing work on their house. I’m planning to have her take one apart to see how everything is woven together, then try to make her own. Your list of materials helps so much!
Mama's Happy Hive says
That sounds really fun! You are welcome! Enjoy!