Looking for an easy bird nest art project to do with your kids? Today I’m sharing a fun mixed media project inspired by one of our favorite books, A Nest Is Noisy.
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A Nest Is Noisy is packed with information about a variety of nests and their inhabitants, ranging from birds to alligators, but delivers this information through lyrical text and gorgeous illustrations.
These illustrations from Sylvia Long are so lovely that we were inspired to create our own nest art projects.
Bird Nest Art Project for Kids
We began our project by learning more about the nests featured in A Nest Is Noisy.
After spending some time in Nature Anatomy and The Handbook of Nature Study, my daughter chose to reproduce the Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest featured in the beginning of A Nest Is Noisy and my son chose a laughing gull nest he noticed in Nature Anatomy. Both Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and laughing gulls are commonly found in our region, so these were great choices for them.
When they finished researching the nests they wanted to create for our project, we gathered the supplies we needed. Here’s what we used:
- Canvas panels
- Scrapbook paper
- Acrylic craft paints
- Mod Podge
- Black Sharpie & white paint pens (optional)
Step 1. Prepare Background
We started our bird’s nest art projects by preparing our backgrounds. Both kids painted their canvas panels shades of blue. When the blue dried, I used a pencil to lightly outline a branch for my daughter’s hummingbird nest. When I finished, she filled in my pencil marks with brown paint.
Meanwhile, my son used shades of green to add a layer of grass blades since laughing gulls nest on the ground.
Step 2. Add Nest
While the branch and grass dried, my kids prepared the scrapbook paper needed to create their nests. My little one tore off bits from two different green patterns to mimic the hummingbird nest in A Nest Is Noisy, while my big kid used scissors to cut strips of orange and brown paper to use for his gull’s nest.
After their paper was ready, they added a layer of Modge Podge to the canvases and gently applied the paper pieces to form their nests. My daughter also applied her green paper pieces to her branch to represent the lichens seen in the original illustration.
Step 3. Add Eggs and Details
While they waited for their Modge Podge to dry, we researched eggs for laughing gulls and hummingbirds. Once we identified the eggs, the kids selected paper patterns to reflect our findings and cut out the eggs for our nests from those sheets. They added a little more Modge Podge to their projects and pressed the eggs into the nests and waited for them to dry.
From here, their projects took a different direction. My son used a white paint pen to add definition to his blades of grass and used a Sharpie to outline the gull eggs.
My daughter added detail to her artwork by painting vines and leaves around the tree branch and hummingbird nest. When the vines and leaves dried, she used the white paint pen to accent the vines and add veins to her leaves.
Step 4. Seal
Once all of these accents dried, both kids sealed their pieces by applying a layer of Modge Podge over the canvases. When that layer of sealant dried, their bird’s nest art was complete and ready to enjoy.
What I love the most about these projects is how they both followed the same general instructions, but turned out quite different. I suppose that’s the beauty of using mixed media to create these nests! I expect you’ll have the same experience if you try to reproduce these nests with your kids. 🙂
Guess what… the bird and nest-related learning doesn’t stop here! I’m joining with some fantastic nature-loving friends to bring you a new monthly linkup! Take a look at my co-hosts’ ideas and be sure to add your own through the linkup widget at the end!
Welcome to The Nature Book Club!
The Nature Book Club is a monthly book club devoted to connecting children to nature. There was a theme for each month in 2018 that featured nature books and related activities!
The Nature Book Club theme for January:
Winter Birds and Nests
This Nature Book Club is brought to you by these 15 nature-loving bloggers which are your co-hosts! Are you following them? If you don’t want to miss anything, be sure to follow each one.
Here are the co-hosts, their choices of books, and activities for the month.
- Something 2 Offer – Birds, Nests, and Eggs – Nest Scavenger Hunt
- The Usual Mayhem – The Boy Who Drew Birds – Free artist study set (John James Audobon)
- Preschool Naturally – Whose Nest Is This? – Nest Building Activity
- Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus – (Backyard Bird Series) Cardinals – Free Northern Cardinal Unit Study & Lapbook.
- Rule This Roost – Fine Feathered Friends: All About Birds – DIY Bird Feeders
- Hide The Chocolate – Those Darn Squirrels Fly South – Free online book club.
- The Homeschool Scientist – Birds, Nests, and Eggs – Make a Suet Feeder
- Forgetful Momma – Snowy Owls – Snowy Owl Craft
- Table Life Blog (That’s me!) – A Nest is Noisy – Mixed Media Art Project.
- Eva Varga – Ravens in Winter: Nature Study Activities and Lessons for Teens – Winter Bird ID
- Wind in a Letterbox – Birds for Beginners in Southern Africa – Nature Journal Entry
- Rainy Day Mum – Coming Home – Needle Felted Robin
- Handbook of Nature Study – Backyard Birds Field Guide for Young Naturalist – Backyard Bird Nature Study
- The Playful Scholar – Backyard Birds of Winter – How to Make Hanging Suet Ornaments
- Freshly Planted – Nests – Nest weaving