Virtual Museum – Build a Nest

Spring is a great time to see birds in action as they find a mate, build a nest, and raise their young. Have you ever looked closely at the homes that birds make for themselves? They use materials that they find in the neighborhood and design nests that are perfect for raising babies and protecting them from predators. If you were a bird, where would you build your nest?


  • Natural materials, like sticks, leaves, grass, or flower petals collected on a neighborhood walk.
  • Tray for building on
  • Cotton balls, twine, string, fabric scraps
  • Paper bag, aluminum foil or fabric to help form the nest
  • Optional: a camera


  1. Collect some materials. Take a walk around your yard or neighborhood and look for good building materials. Think about things that will make your nest strong but also soft.
  2. Design a nest. Imagine that you are a bird. What will be important to you as you design your home? How strong does the nest have to be to support you and your eggs?
  3. How large are your eggs? Take a look on Google Images to see pictures of different types of birds’ nests.
  4. Build your home. As you get ready to build your nest, think about where you will build for safety and ease. If you are a bird, how will you transport the materials? Use the materials you’ve gathered to create your nest. You might have to experiment a bit until you have it exactly the way you want it.
  5. Take a photo of your nest and share it with your grandparents, teachers, and friends. They will enjoy seeing your creativity.
  6. Build a giant nest. Now that you are an excellent nest-building engineer, try making a giant nest in your family room. Use the materials that you find, like pillows, blankets, sheets and chairs. Invite your family or your pet(s) to join you in your nest!