Monday, January 9, 2012

4 Little Birds (Cuba)

As you (hopefully) read last week, we are learning about Cuba this month. We made the flag and now we are on to a craft project. When searching for a fun craft that was something completely new for us to do, I found a cute little Cuban Tody Bird. The tody bird is not the National Bird of Cuba, but it is found in Cuba and the project that I found looked too cute to pass up. Because I don't always (or even often) follow directions, I looked at the picture and quickly scanned the supplies list then went to the store to pick up what we didn't already have.

Supplies: Stryofoam balls, styrofoam eggs, craft sticks (aka popsicle sticks). toothpicks, small beads (we used black), tacky glue, and multiple colors of tissue paper. Also, don't forget an old tablecloth, (we use one that is specifically for craft projects) it WILL get glue on it.

The first step is to use a toothpick and attach a styrofoam ball to a styrofoam egg (this is the head and the body). We also used glue to ensure that they stayed together.
The next step is where things started to get hairy. We ripped tiny pieces of tissue paper and crumpled them then glued them to the styrofoam. It seemed pretty straight forward and somewhat simple for the kids to do on their own so Preston and I decided that we should all work on our own bird. 
Hmmm... hers is looking a bit wilder than mine... the paper is kinda all over the place there. 
It's ok, just let he create her own version of the bird, she saw a picture and she sees what we are all working on, she'll do fine...
I think you may have too much glue there, buddy. Yes. Definitely too much glue when the paper is sticking to you more that the styrofoam. 
Is this what it's supposed to look like?

This is when we lost the children, their interest had faded. They were struggling to keep the paper off of them and on the styrofoam. They were having a hard time figuring out how much paper they should rip and how tightly it should be crumpled. At this point, Preston and I were almost done with ours, so we decided that we would finish ours, then work together with the kids to help them finish theirs. Sadly, we had to deconstruct what they had done a little bit, because they ended up looking like giant balls of tissue paper and glue. Please accept my apologies for not photographing them at this stage.

From looking at the picture and seeing the supplies, I guessed that the project would take about 30-60 minutes, I was more than slightly off on the time estimate, it took around 2 1/2 hours! Yes, 2 1/2 hours!!!! I am only telling you this because if you decide to try this (which I think you should, as it was fun) I want you to be prepared and keep in mind that you will need to set aside a big chunk of time. 

Even with the kids struggling a bit, this project was a fun one. While we worked on this we discussed why we were making these little birds. The Cuban Tody Bird is a tropical bird. We discussed what kinds of animals lived in tropical areas, we also touched on what kind of plant life is found in tropical climates. It was a cool discussion while we had some family craft time (and listened to Cuban music too!). 

See the inspiration for this project here.


  1. Very cool projects, Raina! And I love that there's themed music and relevant discussion as well - (as well as family craft time!!).

    Do you mind if I move in with you? (jk!)

    Thanks for sharing -


  2. Carrie, If you do laundry, we just might be able to find some space for you somewhere ;)

    Thank you so much for the kind words! We are having so much fun doing this! Thanks for reading!

  3. Love these! They are so cute!!


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