Macaw Parrot – Flapping Mobile

This easy bird craft for kids can be used as a decorative bedroom mobile to brighten up their room. This parrot craft can be used to introduce basic concepts of balance and engineering to children. It’s also a great opportunity to develop fine motor skills and practice some colourful painting!

Macaw Mobile - Easy Bird Craft

On a piece of card, draw out two wing shapes. You can draw your own or use the template below. Make sure they are a pair (i.e a mirror image of each other) as we’ll be creating a left and right wing.

Now do the same for the body of the parrot. Again, if you don’t want to draw your own, you can use the template. Next, carefully cut out the shapes either using scissors or a craft knife (with adult supervision).

Draw and cut out the parrot.
Where possible, it’s always good to use recycled materials in craft projects. For this parrot craft, we used some card from an old box for this as it doesn’t matter if its a bit scruffy. It will be painted over!

Using some coins or metal washers, tape equal amounts to both wings in the same places (as in the photo). You will need to experiment with the amounts / weight later on.

The next step is to tape some coins / washers to the inside of one of the body shapes (again, you’ll probably need to play around with the amount of coins / washers later on to make sure it balances correctly). Now, tape both parts of the body together.

Add some weights to the wings and body.

Next, tape each wing to either side of the body, ensuring the wings clear the parrot’s head. Now turn the parrot upside down and secure the under side of the wing with tape.

Tape the wings to the parrot's body.

Using two equal lengths of string, tie two loops around where the bird will hang from – this could be a pole, branch or curtain rail for example (this a job for a grown up). Loop the string around each wing and position them where the wings are balanced. Once you’ve done this, snip a small groove into each wing to hold the string in place and prevent it from slipping.

Hang the mobile in place.

Now, pull the body downwards and the wings should flap up and down! You might need to experiment with the amount of weight taped onto the wings and body to get it moving how you want it to. We placed ours outside on the frame of a gazebo and enjoyed watching it flap in the wind. I wonder if it will make a successful bird scarer for my strawberry patch later in the year!?

Finally, we’ll decorate the bird craft to make it look like a colourful Macaw Parrot.

Paper mache.
You could use Papier Mâché for this to give it a nice feathered / textured feel, but bear in mind this will alter the weight of the bird slightly and could affect the balance. We used a couple of layers of torn up recycled envelopes and some PVA glue for this. You could try gluing a paper design straight onto the card if you’d prefer not to paint it.
Painting the bird craft.

Blending the paint on the wings can be done by building up the colours whilst the paint is wet, using brush strokes to blend red into orange, and orange into yellow and so on. We used poster paints mixed with glue which makes the bird craft parrot both stronger and somewhat shower proof. You could also use acrylics and varnish.

A colourful macaw mobile.
Parrot bird craft.