Last week I put my big girl undies on and let my kids have a fabulous time playing with sticks outside. I learnt a lot from the experience of letting go and allowing my kids to take reasonable risks and it seems lots of you feel the same way (thanks for all the lovely comments).
While we were ‘up the back’ playing last week I had a crazy idea that adding sticks to our block constructions might be fun too. So we collected a big basket of sticks, branches and small logs to bring back to the house.
We made a quick stop at the shed where the kids watched me saw up some of the logs, branches and sticks into more manageable pieces. We could have skipped this step for the sticks but I thought having the ends flat rather than pointy might be better, and hey… I just really like to saw things on the band saw!
After I was done sawing I popped the basket full of ‘stick blocks’ on top of our slow combustion wood fire for a few days to dry out a bit and then they were ready to be played with.
We managed to collect a huge variety of sizes and shapes of wood and sticks so building with them was lots of fun! We even found some thick curved pieces of bark that are very cool!
I didn’t bother trying to saw the bottoms off flat and even, so it was often a bit of a challenge getting them to balance or stand the way we wanted to, which made it even more fun!
Our stick blocks have been add to lots of different construction toys as well as being enjoyed on their own. Morgan and I discovered that they help make awesome wizard’s castles!
Joining with It’s Play Time at Let the Children Play this week!
What have you been playing with lately?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Megan at Writing Out Loud says
THAT is seriously cool!
Now I need to go stick hunting! This looks like so much fun… we definitely need a basket of sticks to play with.
We collected sticks then made the 3 little pigs house. Fun.
Amazing! I absolutely love this – what kid wouldn’t love to build with real sticks?
Janice @ learning4kids.net says
Wow!! I love this!! What a brilliant idea……thanks so much for sharing!
Posie Patchwork says
We can never leave a park or backgarden or even the school grounds without sticks & amazingly, my 4 never feel the need to poke each other with them, brilliant!! Love Posie
My own kids played with sticks. There is something so joyful in it.
My work kids do too… in fact I bought some really long pussy willow sticks just for such play! They get dragged around, made in to cubby houses, used in the sand and dirt patches.
Of course I love this…! xx
Do you guys have any tree blocks? Would love to make you a set next time we are up the back collecting sticks and things!
What a fantastic idea. I love the idea of adding to our existing block pile and it’s free! Plus I also enjoy using the power tools when I can.
ah yes… power tools are fun!!!
Jena @ HappyLittleMesses says
The structures they put together are magnificent! I really enjoyed this post! Hmmm, band saw. I’ll need a lesson. SO you smoked the sticks? How would I go about making a low combustion wood fire?
Band saws are easy… just be careful not to chop your finger off!
We didn’t smoke our stick blocks, just popped them on top of our fire box (we have a slow combustion wood fire that heats our house – a fire box with a fan instead of an open fire place) for them to dry out. You could simply put them out in the sun on a nice hot day, or I somewhere warm and sunny inside if it’s not so hot out? But really you could just use them as soon as you saw them too!
I love this, Kate! The jungle is gorgeous! We’ll be borrowing this idea. :)
I love this idea!Think I need to go and hunt sticks!
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas says
what an awesome castle – LOVE it! you got some great stick shapes there. Thanks for linking this up to the Sunday Showcase – FB & tweeting this.
Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree says
Love this! My daughter loves collecting sticks and making piles of them in the yard! Love this post and we’ll be doing some stick sculptures soon! Thanks for the inspiration!
Brooke (siayla) says
we LoVe using natural elements in our play :) Shared here http://siayla.blogspot.ca/2014/01/got-wood-try-these-wood-crafts.html