18 March, 2012

Nests, Nests, Nests

Spring has come early this year, and with it came our study of birds.  My current class has been really enjoying our bird watching time.  Can you tell what kinds of birds we have seen?

I am so impressed by the children's attention to detail in their bird drawings!

We have used some of the bird materials I made in previous years.  You can read about some of those here.

We used bird calls similar to the ones my class made last year, to call birds as we walked around our school campus. The children also carried clipboards with a piece of paper on which to record the number of each kind of bird they saw.  They were to mark the paper with a dot each time they saw a particular type of bird.  This little fellow decided to make a big dot when he saw a large number of one particular type of bird.  What a good idea!

While we were out looking for birds, a robin buzzed right by us, intent on her destination, her new nest!  She had a beak full of what looked to be dried grass.  The children of course, ran shrieking over to where she was busy building.  Poor Mrs. Robin.  Luckily she chose to build her nest in a high location, on the top of an air conditioning unit!

When we came back inside, one of the children asked if I would reread The Best Nest.  I did, and they all wanted to make a list of what they would use to build their own nests.  

That was all on Friday.  Over the weekend I have been pondering how the children could make their own nests.  I found some links online to marvelous looking projects, but they all looked a bit too big for us to undertake right now.  I scaled down my original idea and came up with . . .

this!  Tah dah!

This is a small nest which I think, with a little help, my students should be able to create. 

My daughter helped me with this project.  Here's how we made our nest.

First we gathered some nesting materials.

Then I twisted three pipe cleaners together, into a 6 pointed star shape.

I began weaving, creating the bottom of the nest with a daffodil leaf, tucking in 
the edges at the beginning and end of the leaf, over, under, over, under.  
Once the bottom was completed, C was able to continue the weaving.

A piece of English Ivy stripped of its leaves, made great weaving material.

A thin branch of flowering quince made a beautiful top of the nest.

I helped C finish up too, folding down the edges of the pipe cleaners, 
wrapping it around any loose or flyaway bits of the nest.

The perfect finishing touch was this sweet little wood burned egg that 
I recently got in a wonderful swap.  Thanks, Hallie!  

I hope my students will like this activity as much as my daughter and I did.  Maybe you and your children (or students) will like it too!  


  1. What a wonderful day you had!! I may just have to use your nest idea with my girls!!! Thanks so much!! :) Glad you liked my little egg! :)

  2. Oh GOd Karen, that is defintely something I have to try with our kids at preschool!! It is so cute and I know they would love this. I may gather bits and pieces in the garden this week end and have it kind of ready for them to do this (especially as the weather man told us good weather is on the way!!!). Thanks for sharing.... And by the way, I love your new head picture!!! I can see how close you and your kids are to nature and your outdoor surroundings. Brilliant!!

    1. Thank you!!! : ) I love how you use your Montessori materials in a traditional way and with extensions - so the children can try out things in their own way as well. You are brilliant! : )


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