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Materials

  • Balloon
  • Old bowl
  • Scissors
  • White glue (several bottles)
  • Water
  • An old spoon or fork for mixing
  • Shades of brown and/or tan yarn
  • Raffia
  • Shredded paper or cut up brown paper bags
  • Brown craft sand
  • Feathers
  • Plastic table cloth or newsprint
  • Smock

Directions

  • Prior to making the nest, as it can be quite messy, it is a good idea to cover your workspace with an inexpensive plastic table cloth or old newspaper. You might want to wear a smock for this reason as well.
  • Have an adult blow up a balloon for the craft. Choose the size of balloon based on the size of nest that you would like to make. To hold the balloon steady, place it in an old bowl so that it is snug (the part that blew into and tied should be inside of the bowl as you will only be covering the bottom.)
  • Cut lengths (approx. half a metre/ one and a half feet) of various shades of brown and/or tan yarn.
  • Have an adult shred various shades of brown paper and/or paper bags for you. (Or cut it into thin strips using scissors). Other suggested items might include raffia, embroidery floss, craft grass, craft moss etc.)
  • Take white glue and dilute it (about two parts glue to one part water). You can mix brown craft sand (this gives it colour and texture) with it to make it appear more mud like, although we liked the effect of sprinkling it on later. Take one length of yarn and dip it in the glue¬†mixture, assuring that it is completely covered and well absorbed. Then place the yarn in between your thumb and fingers and pull downwards to remove the excess glue. Holding the end of the yarn with one hand and pulling it through your pointer and middle finger is an other helpful technique. Try to get it back into the container for re-use. (See our video for a demonstration of this.)
  • Circle the yarn around the bottom portion of the balloon. Repeat, assuring that you overlap the yarn pieces so that they will adhere together. It is helpful to tuck the ends under another piece of yarn. Take small handfuls of the shredded paper and dip them in the glue. Weave the pieces underneath the yarn. You may want to weave in other items such as feathers. If you notice any dry looking spots, put an additional amount of the glue mixture on. While it is wet, sprinkle with brown craft sand to create a muddy texture similar to a real nest.
  • Let this dry for several days. When you see that it appears dry, pop the balloon (with a pin or scissors) and carefully peel it out . The inside of the nest may be still damp, therefore allow it to dry overnight before use.
  • Use your nest as a centre piece, for storing special items or for the games you will soon find on our website. How can you make it your own by what you put inside?

Purpose

  • Making a replica of an item, development of fine motor skills (scissor use, weaving etc.)

Safety Notes

  • An adult should blow up the balloon and it should be discarded after use as balloons pose a choking hazard.
  • Be sure to cover your workspace as glue may damage certain surfaces.
  • Use scissors and/or a pin with direct adult supervision.

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