Ten Things to do with Sticks – Guest Post from Squiggle Mum

Squiggle Mum and I share a mutual love of sticks (among other things!) and Cath has written this fabulous guest post all about them!

playing with sticks

Used carefully, sticks can be a valuable (and free) natural play resource for kids. A simple stick is full of potential and has endless possibilities for play.

In our backyard we have a healthy supply of small and medium sticks thanks to our large gum trees. I try to only enforce two rules outside: keep yourself safe, and keep others safe. That’s it. As long as the kids are making safe choices, I encourage playing with sticks. And so far, no one has even come close to losing an eye!

Kate recently blogged about her experience with letting the Picklebums play with sticks. I thought I’d add to it by sharing some ideas your kids might like to try outside with sticks too:

  • Make a pretend fishing pole.
  • Design a flag and make a flagpole.
  • Tie three sticks together to form a teepee.
  • Create a stick sculpture using wire or a hot glue gun.
  • Tie your morning tea in a square of fabric and carry it over your shoulder.
  • Build a cubby house or gunyah.
  • Use your stick to write in the soil or sand.
  • Build a bridge for ants, fairies, toy dinosaurs, or small cars.
  • Create a natural mobile using sticks, string, and other found natural objects.
  • Build a pretend fire and toast pretend marshmallows (or even better, a real fire with real marshmallows if you can!)
  • Do you allow your kids to play with sticks?

    If so, what other suggestions could you add to this list?

    Catherine Oehlman is a mother, teacher, writer, picture book lover, outdoor play advocate, coffee drinker and self confessed bird-nerd. She still climbs trees and eats fairy bread – with or without her two young kids! Cath squiggles about topics close to her heart at her blog Squiggle Mum.

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    Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

    1. lynn root says

      My co teachers would have a heart attack if I let the children play with sticks, I have had a difficult time just getting them to let the kids dig in the mud. Love your ideas.
      Lynn Root
      Vacaville California, USA

    2. says

      Hi – I too am a stick lover or a mother of a stick lover. Since he learned to walk my son would pick up sticks and find uses for them. By three he was a Peter Pan fan and of course became a master swordsman. Whenever we went to a park he would receive dark looks from other mothers who would throw filthy looks at me for ‘allowing’ him to play with sticks. Like you, I have always given him strict guidelines for stick play and they include that he may not touch another person with a stick. I can honestly say that we have never had a stick injury but we have had a LOT of fun pretending that they were swords or bows and arrows or horses or magic wands or light sabres… He’s 7 now and his love affair is far from over. He creates whole camps with ‘fires’ and farms that he tends with stick hoes and scythes. Whilst other mothers’ disapproval was uncomfortable, I trusted my son to be safe and he was. I recognised that he shouldn’t do it if he would be encouraging a smaller child to emulate him who might not be able to make safe choices and he respected that I would make a good decision on when was appropriate and when not. So I say, ‘stick’ to your instincts and let little kids play with one of the oldest forms of entertainment known to mankind and learn to make safe choices for themselves – how else can they learn?

      Thanks for the post – obviously you struck a chord with me for one!

    3. Little timber fcc says

      At the center sticks are used for many things we have painted them and with them they have web used for color matching games when the tips have been colored we have used them as drum sticks and for noise makers on the cha fence we build with them and float them in puddles use them for hitting balls like a hockey stick among many other things I LOVE STICKS!