We LOVE Mo Willems in our house. We were especially lucky to pick up two Elephant and Piggie books for free at a Winter Holiday festival this past December. I thought Natalie was still too young for these books that are labeled step 1 and 2, but she loves them. Reading them and thinking about crafts to make one day, suddenly the idea to make a nest we could put on our head while reading the story popped into my mind.
What you need to have a nest and birds exactly like ours:
Brown paper lunch page
Two dark green pom poms (one big, one medium)
Two yellow pom poms (one big, one medium)
Three medium light green pom poms
Ten tiny pom poms (two black, two white, six orange)
Two orange foam star stickers (or orange craft foam)
Two black pipe cleaners
Pink yard (about an inch and half)
Copy of There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems!
What to do:
I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to make the nest. I was going to decorate a tub (like a margarine tub), but in the process got the idea to just use the very bottom of a brown lunch bag. I cut the top portion of the bag into strips and crinkled them to make the twigs for the branches. I had these materials ready and Natalie helped me glue the twigs onto the nest with the glue stick.
Next we made the parent birds. I chose these colors because they resemble the birds in the book and I had these colored pom poms on hand. We simply glued the head on to the body and the eyes on the head with the craft glue. I cut a point off a foam star sticker for the beak. I cut a pipe cleaner in half and used one half for each leg. I bent the bottom portion in and out to form the toes. We then glued the legs onto the body. I glued the pink yarn under one of the beaks to make the worm. We used the liquid craft glue for all of this.
Lastly, we did the baby birds. I had originally planned for the tiny orange pom poms to be the eyes, but they didn't look so good. My sister said we should flip them over and make them the feet and we drew on the eyes with a Sharpie. (I had run out of tiny black pom poms. I would have much preferred all the eyes to be black). Each chick got a nose the same way the parent birds did. If I were to make the baby birds again, I would probably use tiny black pom poms for eyes and very small pieces of black pipe cleaners for feet. I might try to use two small orange triangles to make the mouths look open.
A couple things we didn't do that you could try:
- I had considered attaching the nest to a headband to make wearing it on your head while reading the story easier, but have no done it yet. If you do that, I recommend that you glue the birds to the bottom of the nest.
- Or, you could buy very small Easter eggs and put the chicks into the eggs. You could then act out the eggs being laid and hatching.
- If you make Piggie and Elephant masks, reading the book together could be even more fun. Especially if you and your child each read one of the characters. You could then switch so you each get to wear the nest. (I hope to makes these some day, so I will add a link if I do).