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Project challenge:

Bird puppet

Suggested Ages: K – 2nd Grades

Soar into innovation while creating a bird puppet that can flap its wings! BE DETERMINED to make sure all the parts of the bird stay together as it flies!

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: 


  • 1 long flat object for the bird body (paint stirrer, extra ruler, strip of cardboard, etc.)
  • 1 smaller stick-like object to support the wings (pencil, popsicle stick, plastic knife, etc.)
  • 1 piece heavy paper for the wings and head (card stock, watercolor paper, poster paper, etc.)
  • 1 piece standard paper for the feathers (copy paper, construction paper, magazine pages, etc.)
  • Glue (glue stick is best but liquid glue can also work)
  • Tape (we suggest masking tape, but any kind will do)
  • Scissors
  • Optional: A 3D object for the head (small box, toilet paper tube, mini paper cup, etc.) and other small items to create the facial features (bottle caps, buttons, foam shapes, stickers, etc.)


Activity Steps:

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


    1. Rip standard paper into small pieces to make feathers.
    2. Glue feathers onto the bird body (the longer flat object).
    3. Attach the smaller stick to the back of the body with tape, making a T-formation to support the wings.
    4. Cut 2 right triangles out of the heavy paper to make the wings.
    5. Glue on the wings—one on each side of the T.
    6. Make the head of the bird using materials of your choice.
    7. Attach the head to the body with tape.
    8. Glue the remaining ripped paper feathers to the edges of the wings.
    9. Test your bird by making it fly. If any parts fall off, be determined and redesign to make them more secure.


Guiding Questions:

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


  • What shape are you imagining for your bird head? How might you use an existing object or cut/fold paper to make that shape?
  • Try making the bird flap its wings. What do you notice? [If parts are coming loose] What might you add or change to make this part more secure?


More Ideas:

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


  • Have kids decorate their paper before cutting/ripping it up for the bird! They can paint the paper, color it with crayons or markers or dye it using diluted food coloring!
  • Keep innovating! Kids can make several birds and create a puppet show. What fun bird stories might their puppets act out?!


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: 


  • What is your bird’s name? Where do you imagine it lives?
    What was your favorite part of making your puppet? In what ways did it turn out how you imagined it?  In what ways did it turn out differently?
  • Did you have to redesign anything on your puppet? What parts did you work extra hard on? How did you stay determined to make your puppet as sturdy as possible?


The last step in the Gallieo 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!