Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children : A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers
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Alternate Activity 1: Making a Bird Nest

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Pictures of baby birds in nests
  • Small boxes, cottage cheese containers, or strawberry cartons, one for each child
  • Nest-making supplies, such as sticks and twigs, straw or dried grass, string and yarn, cotton, hair, and/or dryer lint
  • A permanent marker (e.g. a Sharpie (TM))
  • Moistened paper towels
  • Optional: Eggs (hard-boiled, candy, or play-dough, or plastic eggs with a surprise inside), one for each child
  • Optional: Digital camera or smartphone

Preparation for Activity

  • Decide whether to conduct part of this activity outdoors. Choose an appropriate place to take the children, ideally near some trees.
  • Locate one or two birds’ nests to show the children, and try to find out what kind of bird made them. If you will not take the group outside, you might photograph one or more nests, or identify one or two you can see from the meeting room windows.
  • Write each child’s name on the small box or container they’ll use to build their nest.

Description of Activity

Children learn about nests, a nurturing and comfortable home for baby birds.

Tell the children that all babies, human and animal, need comfort and protection. Show the birds’ nests (or photos) you brought. Tell the children what kind of birds made them. Show the pictures of baby birds in their nests. Variation: Take the children outside. Have them look around and try to locate safe places where a bird might choose to build a nest. Or have the children look out the window and see if they can find any nests outside.

Encourage the children to notice what materials the nests are made of and what the parents did to make the nests soft and comfortable for their babies.

Gather the children around the activity table, and show them the materials you have provided. Give each child a small container, and invite them to make a nest inside it.

Optional: Give each child an egg and have them put their egg in its new nest. Take pictures of the nests the children created.

Set the nests in a safe place until it is time to go home.

Invite the children to help clean up the activity area. They can collect the leftover nest-making materials and wipe the table with moistened paper towels.

Including All Participants

If you go outside, make sure you bring adequate adult supervision and that the area you choose is accessible to everyone in the group.