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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Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….


Ask Tracey

Midwife Tracey Donegan answers your questions about pregnancy and birth

Q When should I have my first pregnancy scan? And how many scans should I get throughout my pregnancy?

Your first scan is known as your dating scan and is routine in all hospitals. Most mums will have this scan at their booking visit, which can be anywhere between 12-18 weeks. The earlier the scan the more accurate it will be. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages some hospitals will scan you earlier. Contact your antenatal clinic for more information. In Ireland, most women will have two scans in a healthy pregnancy – a dating scan and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, some units provide a dating scan only. Private scans are also available in most cities and many parents use these services for additional reassurance and to find out the sex of their baby.