Parts of a bird nest in a nature bottle

Around by the back door, I discovered a birdnest tucked up on top of this lamp.  I took the children on a little walk so we could see the birdnest and talk about what kinds of things the bird had used to make the nest…

We discovered that the bird nest had straw and leaves and even some unusual items stuck in like pieces of plastic. It was a good opportunity for the children to see what happens when birds find trash left outside…

After examining our bird nest, the children went around and found items they might use if making their own bird nest…

Each child was given two plastic bottles. In one bottle, they were given a specific part of a birdnest to collect such as sticks, leaves, or flowers. In the other bottle, the children could collect anything of nature they wanted….

This little guy was on a hunt for leaves…

And this little guy was on a hunt for rocks (even though birds may not use rocks in their nest, we decided it would be fun to add a nature bottle with rocks too)…

Once all the children had filled their bottles with items from nature, we took the bottles back inside to take a closer look at our findings…

For our parts of a bird nest bottle collection, we filled each bottle with water and then hot glued a lid on to keep the water and the collections in place.  For the other bottles, the children added a lid but no water so they could go ahead and take them home at the end of the day…

By the next day, some of the water in our nature bottles had changed color. Our water in the bottle with the brown leaves turned a soft yellow. The “parts of a bird nest” nature bottles made a lovely addition to our classroom…

In my next post, I will share with you more on how we used our bottles to talk about the parts of a bird nest in circletime!

Linking up with No Time for Flashcards Link and Learn!

By |2012-04-27T10:52:35+00:00April 27th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. School Sparks Renee April 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Very clever! I’ll be interested in hearing about your circletime conversation. Renee

  2. Kristen Stehli April 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for the compliments in my comments!! I wanted you to know I have had you listed in the must see blogs board I made on pinterest

    You really should join the kids co-op… one of the posts you commented on. Its not just on my blog is on like 100 other blogs too its a big collaboration of moms that post in it weekly!!

    are you on facebook? ill invite you to the group!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for including me in your must see list! That is so very generous of you. And thank you for your invite to the Kids Co-op! It has gotten so big now that it is hard to keep track of who is a member:)

  3. Kristen Stehli April 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    OH I see you are on the group already!!

  4. maryanne @ mama smiles April 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    What a lovely activity! Excellent use of old water bottles, too 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you Maryanne!

  5. Very cool. We are on a bird nest kick here too. We made our own nests from natural materials and we are making some others for a future post.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Looking forward to seeing your future posts!

  6. Allison April 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    What a clever way to explore nature using recycled materials. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you Allison!

  7. crystal@growingajeweledrose April 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    I love these bird nest discovery bottles. I especially love how the water changed colors.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      The change of color brought a new element of discovery into our experience:)

  8. Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam April 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    What a neat idea for creating a display with nature materials!! If you have the time, I would love you to share this at our Outdoor Play Party. =)

  9. Erin @ Small Types April 28, 2012 at 1:56 am - Reply

    You have the best ideas! What a fun way to look closely at nature. My boys would love this. It would be fun to look closely at the contents of the bottle with a magnifying glass too.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      I agree – I just bought some new magnifying glasses for my kids to check out. I will have to set them out with the bottles this week!

  10. sue fromm April 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    We found a bird nest that had blown in a playground area at the local zoo. Not wanting it to be trampled, we turned it in to the staff who informed us that unless one has a special permit , it is illegal to collect nests even if they are empty or fallen. I have had nests brought in by parents to have the children ” explore in a bag “. Googled to find it is indeed a federal law punishable by fine and even prison time – yikes.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      If I have read up on this correctly – these laws apply to “ACTIVE” nests not to nests that have been abandon or no longer in use such as a nest that has fallen out of a tree on the ground and has no eggs or birds living or using them any longer. The key term here is “active”. The nest in our light is still there and untouched as of now:)

  11. Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse April 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    I love exploring the outdoors, nice post Deborah.
    For Health Kids, Dawn

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 30, 2012 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      Thank you Dawn! It is lovely to see your signature on my wall these days:)

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