Making A Feely Bird

This is a great project for our younger friends. It takes many steps and can be turned into a several day project if desired. During our toddler to young childhood years, there is such a big need for sensory play. This is how we learn about the world around us… what does this feel like? Is it soft? Safe? Sharp? If I touch it does it scratch my finger tips? Only through tactile experiences do our bodies gain the needed knowledge for sense of touch. There are also many tips for incorporating the other senses with this project.

Materials you will need:

  • Your base… a paper plate, piece of cardboard, construction paper
    • You will want something tough enough to hold glued on items without falling apart
  • Something to draw a bird outline, a marker, pencil, crayon
  • Scissors
    • Having sharp scissors will help make the cutting part safer
  • Glue or paint
  • A brush, stick, fingers
    • Something to add a small blob of glue/paint where needed
  • A paper bag, jar, plastic zip lock…
    • Container for gathering materials. Some of these materials may slip through cracks in baskets
  • Open ended materials with different textures to glue onto our Feely Bird
    • This will be the funnest part!

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Adventure 1) Help your little one draw the outline of a bird onto their base, if they so desire. This can be any shape and as big or as small as you like. The more space available, the more textures you may have room for.

Adventure 2) Cut out the Feely Bird outline you have created on your base. Cardboard tends to be more difficult to cut with scissors depending how thick it is. Also, the more detail your outline has the more time/focus/coordination it may take. A simple outline on construction paper may be best for our younger friends. Allowing our children to do it themselves will help work needed muscles in their hands and fingers. As well as bilateral coordination and focus. Having good sharp scissors will make this process smoother and safer.

Adventure 3) Take your gathering bag/jar and have a scavenger hunt for materials that feel different and can be glued/painted onto your Feely Bird cut out. This may look like a short hunt around the house, a quick wander outside the door, or a trip to the beach/trail/open field nearby. Ask your child to show you the different things they see that they could add to their Feely Bird. Remind them you are looking for materials that have different textures (spiky, soft, hard, smooth…). You could also mix it up and ask them to find materials that are different colors or smell differently. Gather your materials into your container. Some examples of what my friends have painted/glued onto their Feely Bird are: dirt, sand, oak leaves, rose petals, sticks, feathers, seeds…

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Adventure 4) Take all of your gathered textures, Feely Bird cut out, glue/paint, and your tool for adding dabs of glue/paint, and set up a space where you can let the sensory magic happen. There will be glue/paint that doesn’t make it onto the Feely Bird. Some of our textured materials may float around as well.

Now that you have everything together you can start adding some blobs of paint/glue and add the textured materials on your Feely Bird to give it life. I say blobs because some of these materials may need more adhesive to hold it into place. When you’re done adding all of your wanted textures let it sit for a while to dry. Placing it in a sunny area may help but be aware that it may be blown away if placed outside.

Adventure 5) Once your Feely Bird is completely dry you can pin it on the wall/set it on a table somewhere reachable to all so you can come back to it to feel all the textures and remember the great adventure you had when searching for all the beautiful materials you gathered.

Just like what’s available to us…all of our Feely Birds are different. I would love to see your creations or hear about your adventures. Send me comments, pictures, or question to

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