Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Birds Nests

I saw this idea on someones blog, and though I thought I saved it, I can't find it now =/
You just need yarn, lots of Elmer's glue, and some sort of bowl that you can use to create the shape of the birds nest, and for best results, use a ceramic, plastic, or glass bowl, something that the glue will not stick to.

-First step is to cut strips of yarn [i cut them about my arms length], and then soak them in glue. 

 I thought I would use only a bottle or so of glue for this much yarn [5 nests] but used over 2 bottles! thank goodness my classroom has lots of that stuff. Also, I was thinking that if you have an older child with better fine motor skills, or just want to experiment making a pretty nests on your own, I bet embroidery floss would, and look real cool!

-Next drape the glue soaked yarn over an upside down bowl so they dry in a nest shape.
I have alot to say about this step! 
*As you see I used paper bowls. BAD choice. It takes a couple of days to dry, and I didn't want to bring and leave my bowls at school, so I made the wrong decision to just use the paper ones at school.
* I gave my kids one piece of yarn at  a time to work with and let them play with them. The glue soaked yarn is a fun new experience and you can't just give a kid something like that, make them put it on the bowl and not let them keep touching and manipulating it. So this step takes alot of time with younger kids.Oh ya and just handing them the bowls took a little because they wanted to turn them, slide them, wear them on their heads... lots of time + patience.
*You can see in the picture one smashed bowl and a few sad pieces of yarn on top. This is the product of the youngest in my class room, Bri. She was so interested in experimenting with the yarn that I couldn't get her to leave it on the bowl. I eventually gave up and just let her play with her two pieces which included tasting, dropping, putting on her head... it took a little scrubbing to get the dried glue off her later, but she was so happy I didn't mind. The smashed bowl is because at one point she wanted to see what would happen if she stomped on it, and well you can see the results to that experiment. 
*The two oldest in the class had fun playing with it too, but figured out to arrange the yarn on top of their bowls.Unfortunately when I announced that their art project was all done, one of them decided that meant to dump all the yarn off their bowl...she was able to rearrange it again quickly. I guess I need to be more clear with my instructions.
*The two middle kids [about 20-22months] needed help putting the yarn on the bowl, and not in one small clump, or spread out half across the table. 

After all those adventures, here are the results of 5 little hands!
 I told myself I wouldn't go behind them and rearrange their projects...but it had to be done.
 I tried to keep them as close to how the kids had actually left them [except bri's her's was done again from scratch] but I also wanted them to be able to hold things inside. Does that make me a bad art teacher?

-After you let them dry for at least 2 days, maybe a little more because some of the thicker spots were still a little wet, remove them from the bowl.
 Because I had made the mistake of using paper bowls, the yarn had stuck to the bowl. I was able after much effort seperate the yarn nests from the bowls, but it took it's toll on some of the nests. So I took them home and hot glued the yarn that had been misshapen from my tugging and ripping.

-I tied another piece of yarn with a label of the kid's name strung on around the edges of the nest and stapled them to one of our display boards. I think they look just grand hanging there. I placed Easter eggs inside and the Thursday before Good Friday, I'll send each kid home with their nest, and some candy and a peep inside! 

This project might have gone smoother had I worked with one child at a time, and sacrificed my ceramic bowls for a couple of days. Despite that, they had fun with the gooey yarn, and they love looking at their finished project. I can't wait to see their reactions when they leave with it and discover the peep inside =]

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  1. OMGoodness! This is super cute! I may have to give this a try! I have been searching for something special for my daycare kids to make for Easter. TFS!

    New Follower via Fun For Kids Friday

  2. So so so cute! I have a hard time not fixing things here or there when we do craft projects too. Glad to know I am not the only one.

  3. Aww... love how you have them hanging! Those are so sweet!

    Thanks for sharing these too at For the Kids Friday! Happy to have you joining us!

  4. I love how you have them hanging too!

    Great idea!


  5. Super cute! My son and I did this with shredded paper. *MUCH* messier...

    Try forming the nests over a plastic snack bowl (you can get a 5-pack of these for a couple of bucks at Target, and since they're flexible, you can pop the glue free with no pain)