I don’t share everything my daughter crafts because we craft a lot around here. But I’m sharing this little bird craft for preschoolers because this day has now been burned into my frontal lobe, etched in my memory forever.
At 2.5 years old, Elise now crafts at the table while I check my email or social media. She asked if we could make birds, so I pulled out construction paper, feathers, googly eyes, crayons and glue. If you’re thinking that these are appropriate supplies for making birds, you’d be in the same boat as I was: the wrong one.
The conversation (after I provided the aforementioned supplies) went like this:
Elise: … staring at me as though I had three heads …
Me: “Would you like to add something to your craft supplies?”
Elise: “No, Mommy! I want reaaaaaaaal birds.”
Me: “What do you mean by ‘real’ birds?”
Elise: “The ones in the trees; the ones that can fly!”
Me: thinks “Is it too soon for a birds and the bees talk?”
Elise: delivers a sigh that says she’s an old soul in a young body “Mommy, it’s okay. We can pretend birds.” long pause “But can we make them round like real birds?”
To make these ‘real birds,’ you’ll need a couple Styrofoam balls (re-purposed from another project like we did is fine because you’ll be covering them up), tissue paper, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, feathers, and glue. Honestly though, you’ll just need whatever you have handy because there really is no rhyme or reason to a toddler’s crafting. Sometimes, they rifle through 312 red feathers to find the perfect one and spread out 9,124 pipe cleaners before deciding the first one they chose is ideal.
Let’s face it – they aren’t the picky, artistic sort if they’re getting distracted by gluing their fingers together just because they can. Just sayin’.
Step 1: Let them go to town ripping tissue paper into tiny pieces. I could tell you it helps to develop fine motor skills and blah, blah, blah, but honestly, use this 5 minutes to get caught up on email.
Step 2: Let them test the laws of physics as they glue as much tissue paper to the balls as they can, covering them completely.
Step 3: Help them to poke pieces of cut up pipe cleaner into the Styrofoam that loosely resemble beaks and feet.
Step 4: Googly eyes. And yes, your choices of googly eyes will be sub par, so just give them the container.
Step 5: Eat a snack so the glue-covered balls have time to dry but realize that a measly snack was never going to be enough time to occupy your kid. After snack, hand them random detritus and help them make a nest for their birds. For the nest, we used packing paper, pipe cleaners, and various treasures from our morning walk. I formed it into a circle-ish shape and she stuffed it full of pretty things. No glue, just friction.
Step 6: After the nest is done, hand them the birds and let them glue on some feathers. Again, as a parent, your choice of feathers was completely wrong for the situation. Let them amend your poor choice in feathers by giving them the entire bag.
Note: If you’re smarter than I am, go ahead and choose a hearty selection of feathers and then hide that big bag on Neptune. I would’ve said Pluto, but because he’s not a planet anymore he doesn’t qualify for a safe location to stash craft supplies upon. Poor, poor Pluto. You’ll always be a planet to me. After all, YOU ORBIT AROUND THE SUN!
But seriously – I would need a super computer to calculate all of the feather color and size combinations this kid went through. Note the tongue – you know she’s concentrating when that tongue pops out!
I have a ton of pictures of putting these little guys outside, watching them fly and then crash to the ground, but I won’t be including them. Why not?
They won’t be included because they are all so blurry that they are unrecognizable as anything other than well, blurry blobs. They’re blurry, not because of my very poor photography skills, but because I was laughing so hard I fell over. A few times. Here’s why:
Me: “Honey, what are you doing?”
Elise: without looking away from the nest she placed on the grass “Waiting.”
Me: “Waiting for what?”
Elise: “The birds will fly. They will take their new nest into the trees.”
Me: “Elise, these are pretend birds, remember?”
Elise: “THEY WILL FLY TO THEIR NEW HOME…” paused impromptu scream session / mini tantrum “… IN THE BUSH!”
Now, before I could deliver a response, the little one jumps up, swoops the birds and their nest into her chubby arms, and promptly deposits them in the bush. She stared at them for a few seconds and then said, “Go home. Go home to your tree.” waits mere seconds WHY AREN’T YOU GOING TO YOUR TREE?!”
Oh. My. Hot. Goodness. I immediately burst into laughter because I thought of Happy Gilmore. Does anyone remember that movie with Adam Sandler? Perhaps it’s saying something about me, but no matter how ‘mature’ I get, I can recite parts of that movie verbatim. The part where Happy is on the putting green and is screaming at the ball, “WHY WON’T YOU GET IN YOUR HOME? THAT’S YOUR HOME! DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TOO GOOD FOR YOUR HOME?…”
As I was rolling on the ground laughing – literally, not figuratively – Elise just stared at me. And then she started laughing because, even though you might not know why, laughter is contagious. What about you? Have you had a moment like this? Tell us about in the comments!
Oh, and before you move onto another one of our fun crafts, don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter to get all of the fun delivered right to your inbox!
Where we party: our list of link parties where we’ve shared Ruffles and Rain Boots’ playful creativity.
Here are some other crafts we love because of the memories they’ve given us: