Build a Birdhouse out of popsicle sticks.
During this activity students will learn to use patterns, critical thinking, and specific processing to build a birdhouse. This activity will take multiple hours due to the time required for drying glue between tasks.
Prepare the Workspace
- Be sure to protect your table from any glue or paint by putting paper down first.
Building the Floor
- Place 12 sticks next to each other.
- Use another popsicle stick to align the other 12 in a straight line.
- Support the floor by gluing a popsicle stick on each edge and one diagonal across the middle.
Building the Walls
- Build the walls by alternating the placement of popsicle sticks. Be sure to try and keep them as straight as possible.
Building the Entry
- Building the entry for the birdhouse requires breaking some of the popsicle sticks and gluing them to the corners and spacers underneath.
Front View of completed opening.
Preparing for the Roof
Glue 2 sticks on the inside of the front and back wall. Notice that I placed mine close to each side of the opening.
Notice that the sticks on the back wall are across from those in the front. These sticks will hold the roof up.
My walls were not completely straight. As you can see my popsicle stick does not lie flat against the wall. To fix this, I broke the stick and glued it to the top portion that was straight. Think of creative ways to fix mistakes.
- Glue a popsicle stick across the inside of each popsicle sticks.
Building the Roof
- The roof is similar to the floor but without a diagonal stick. The placement of the side pieces do matter. One of them should have the support sticks slightly more to the inside (1/16 inch - the thickness of a popsicle stick).
Next: add a verticle popsicle stick to the inside of each cross piece. Glue along the entire side.
- Glue the 2 halves of the roof together where each of the cross sticks meet. DO NOT GLUE THE ENTIRE TOP TOGETHER. The tricky part is putting these together at an angle that will work for future steps. See step 16 to see how the roof connects to the house and planning out your roof angle.
- Put string through the gap between the 2 roof halves.
- Move the string to the side and glue a popsicle stick to each side of the roof at the top. Put glue along the entire edge where they connect. The string will eventually go all the way around these sticks. It is the support for hanging the birdhouse.
- Once it is dry, wrap the string around the 2 stick and stick the string back through the gap at the top and tie the 2 ends together.
- On each edge of the roof you will notice that one stick is on top of the other making the other stick lower than the other. To even that out, break the end of a stick off and glue it down on the side that is lower. Do this to the front and back.
Connecting the Roof to the House
- Connect the roof by gluing the ends of the cross stick to the edge of the roof edge. If there is too much of a gap add sticks to the cross stick or the roof edge to fill that gap.
- The last task is to fill the gaps in the roof. Glue pieces flat across each side.
Note: As you get closer to the top, the sticks will need to be cut or broken shorter and at an angle. Using a needle nose pliers was really helpful for this step. You could also ask a parent to help you if they have a construction blade.
- Once you are done you can paint it any color you want. You could also use markers or even crayons.