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Project challenge:

hanging bird collage

Suggested Ages: 3rd – 5th Grades

Let your inner innovator take flight while creating your own amazing bird collage! BE DETERMINED to make sure the wings of your bird are completely covered in feathers. Then hang it up to display your high-flying work of art.

This is no ordinary DIY project for kids: It’s a step toward becoming an innovator.


Every Galileo Design-It-Yourself Challenge teaches the same techniques and mindsets that professional designers an engineers, artists and chefs use in their work. With skills like these, we believe you can change the world.

Get Involved—For Grown Ups

Materials list:

Help your child find these materials or a close substitute: 


  • 3 pieces of heavy paper for the bird’s head, body and wings (cardstock paper, watercolor paper, or poster paper, etc.)
  • Tape (we suggest masking tape, but any kind will do)
  • Glue (a glue stick is best; if using liquid glue, we recommend spreading it out with a paintbrush or craft stick when attaching feathers)
  • Scrap paper for ripping into feathers, ideally 3 color variations (copy paper, magazine pages, paper grocery bags, hand-painted paper, etc.)
  • Writing utensil (pencil, marker etc.)
  • Scissors
  • 18” string to hang the bird (thread, floss, yarn, old shoestring, etc.)
  • Optional: Materials for designing your own paper to rip into feathers (such as markers, crayons, paint, food coloring, rubber stamps, etc.)


Activity Steps:

Use these to keep your innovator on track as they create: 


    1. Draw and cut the bird body and head from the heavy paper.
    2. Draw and cut wings from the heavy paper.
    3. Choose 3 colors of scrap paper for feathers. Rip paper into small (about 1”) pieces to make a pile of each color. (Optional: design your own colored paper to use as feathers).
    4. Divide wings into three sections; glue different colored feathers onto each section of the wings. Be determined to cover up all the blank spaces with feathers.
    5. Rip scrap paper pieces for the tail feathers; tape the tail feathers together and then to the back of the bird body.
    6. Tape the wings to the bird body.
    7. Tape a string to the back.


Guiding Questions:

If your child is stuck, try asking these questions to help them keep on innovating: 


  • Where might you find papers that are the colors you’re looking for to make the feathers? How might you create your own colored paper?
  • Where do you notice empty spots on the wings that could use more feathers?
  • What else can you add that would make your bird collage even more awesome?


More Ideas:

Every project presents opportunities to add your own twists or extensions. Here are some ideas to get you started: 


  • Drawing Tip: Watch out for kids drawing their bird parts too small. If necessary you can give some basic size guidelines (make sure the body is bigger than their hand, use at least half the paper for their wings, etc.).
  • Kids can weave an inspirational message into their bird collage by ripping out meaningful words from magazines (or writing them out on the scrap paper) and using that paper for the feathers.
  • Make a bird family. Once you complete your bird collage, try making smaller or bigger versions to grow your hanging flock.


Wrap Up Questions:

Lock in the learning by asking your child these questions about their project and how they practiced the featured Innovator’s Mindset element: 


  • How do you feel about how your bird collage turned out? What came out just the way you wanted? Not quite the way you wanted? Better than expected?
  • How were you determined as you made your collage? What parts did you work especially hard on? What was challenging and how did you work through those challenges?


The last step in the Galileo Innovator’s Process is SHARE. Great learning can come from sharing successes and failures—to solidify your own experience as an innovator and to inspire others.


SHARE WITH galileo


Take a photo or video of your child’s bird puppet flapping its wings and share it with the Camp Galileo Anywhere community.



Share with family and friends


Your innovation doesn’t stop with you. Inspire someone else by sharing your project challenge—maybe they’ll try it themselves or maybe your project will give them a new idea.


  • Who: someone in your house, a family member, a friend
  • How: in person, on the phone, online
  • When: anytime, starting now!