Friday, January 8, 2010

Fun Friday: Stick Play

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard

The last couple of weeks in our world have been filled with nature play dates (which has made me one happy camper). One of the most popular guests at each of these dates has been the stick.

Sticks are one of nature’s best toys. They’re free, can be found just about anywhere in all sorts of shapes and sizes and offer up plenty of inspiration for outdoor play.

How it works: Set your child free outdoors to gather up some sticks. Where your little one takes it from there is up to the imagination.

Why it’s so fun: One of my favorite bloggers, Bethe at The Grass Stain Guru, is a huge fan of the stick. One of her recent posts reminded me that a stick can be whatever your child wants it to be – a sword, magic wand, firewood, part of a fort or anything else your little one can dream up.

Variations on a theme: Sticks are different depending on the location. That’s what makes discovering them so enticing. You can compare what you find at one place (say, your backyard) with another you find at the beach, park or on a hike.

Older kids may enjoy taking stick play to the next level by building a real fort. Alison at Loving Nature’s Garden wrote a great post about building a shelter that's worth checking out.

What did you love to do with sticks when you were a kid?


  1. At any given moment a stick would have been my sword, my gun, my wand, and in some rare cases, my hand. That is, when I played the evil one normal handed-one stick handed ruler of the world. Naturally.

  2. Thanks for sharing, James. Just proved my point that the stick naturally lends itself to much creative fun!

  3. ahh - the stick - a favourite of my 2! At the moment they are favoured for being able to extend my older son's reach and for the satisfying noise they make when whacked on various things.

  4. Have you read the beautiful book "Not a Stick"? A perfect companion to your stick post! Check it out: "Why are you playing with that stick?" "It's not a stick!!!" We also love "Not a Box." :-)

  5. Thanks for the book recommendation, Beth. We'll have to check it out.

  6. oooh, can't resist sticks--I'm 41 now and I still enjoy making little stick furniture "for the animals and fairies," from my childhood; and scrawling words and lines in beach sand with sticks! My son (3 yrs. old) loves poking the ground, me, the car seat, etc. but also whacking things with sticks he finds. He loves collecting sticks and leaves to keep :)

  7. My little man LOVES to play with sticks. And I love that there's no packing away! Leave 'em on the ground...


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