How to make a nest materials box

Blue tit chicks in nesting box at Ravenscar, Yorkshire

Mottisfont's learning group have created activities to help little ones get closer to nature at home. In the spring and early summer, birds are busy making and repairing their nests - you can help them with this simple activity.

Create a box to hang up outside and fill it with materials that birds could take and add to their homes.

You will need:

  • A piece of string, about 50cm long each
  • A plastic box (a clean food container would work)
  • You’ll need to collect nesting materials such as small twigs, moss, small soft feathers, grass, animal hair, or other natural materials you think a bird might like

Make your nest materials box:

1. Make four holes in the box, two each on opposite sides.
2. Thread the piece of string through the holes to create a handle on each side.
3. Fill the box with the nesting materials you have found.
4. Hang the box somewhere that birds can find it. A tree, hedge or big shrub might be good.

A nest materials box
A handmade nest materials box
A nest materials box

You could…

  • Make up several boxes with different types of material in each. Which materials do the birds like best?
  • Watch to see who visits the boxes and count how many different birds you see. Do you know what they are called? An adult could help you use a wildlife spotting book or look on the internet to find out what you have seen.

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