tree top birds
Activities and crafts

Kids Craft: Treetop birds

Creative mum-of-two Sadhbh Devlin shares her crafty tips on how to make treetop birds with your kids.

How to make treetop birds

The trees are full of fresh green leaves at this time of year. Make this little tree decoration, complete with tiny, sweet birds to celebrate. There’s a lot of cutting involved in creating this masterpiece. Make sure to always supervise children with scissors!

How to make treetop birds

You will need:

  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Scraps of fabric/felt
  • Scissors Pencil & Pen
  • Glue
  • Toothpicks

1. Lay a piece of corrugated cardboard down with the slots going from top to bottom. Draw the outline of a tree in pencil. Play around with it until you’ve got the shape and number of branches you want. Then cut it out.

How to make treetop birds

2. To make the tree stand, place the bottom of the trunk onto another piece of cardboard and draw around it. Cut out the shape. Cut a slit halfway into the card and another, the same length, into the tree trunk and slot one into the other.

3. Cut out some leaf-shapes from your fabric or felt and use a toothpick to push them into the slots along the branches.

How to make treetop birds

4. Next, draw a teardrop shape onto another piece of cardboard, again placed down with the slots going from top to bottom. This will be your bird. Cut out as many of these as you like and decorate them with scraps of fabric and felt. Draw some features with your pen.

How to make treetop birds


5. Use small pieces of toothpick inserted into the slots in the bird’s body as legs. Then place the birds onto the branches using the same technique.

Find out more about Sadhbh at her award-winning blog or find her on Twitter @wherewishes

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Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.



Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.