At Home with Nature: Nest Building (Ages 2-5)

nest in tree

Children can have lots of fun mimicking the creativity of birds and building with natural objects!

You’ll need: A nature space to find building materials and an “egg” (a stone, pinecone, or other egg-shaped object)

Optional extras: Tools like small shovels and bowls

2 young girls collecting items to make nest

Collect building materials from nature. What do you think a bird would use to build a nest? Try out sticks, leaves, and mud. Giving children the space to choose their own materials helps to build autonomy and support their development. 

girl working on table to build her nest

Find a nice spot to build a nest and start creating. Make sure it’s sturdy!

adding egg to homemade nest

Find a rock or other egg-shaped natural object that you can use to test your nest. Place it in the nest, and see if it rolls out! If it does, keep building your nest until it holds the “egg” safety.

girl putting nest in tree

To make it even trickier, balance your nest in low branches of a tree or bush. Keep the fun going by building different nests with new materials! Which materials work best?


Building like a bird helps to develop children’s empathy for animals and engages their creativity.

To further extend this activity: 

Listen to a reading of Bluebird’s Nest here, or watch a relaxing time-lapse of a hummingbird making her nest here for some inspiration!