Here at The Reluctant Explorers HQ (i.e. my house), we love getting out walking with the kids (well, I say we. But I mean me. The kids… well they are not always so keen and I include my husband in this!).
But when they are out, they LOVE a good stick collecting session.
If I said that in my house I don’t have vases full of flowers, but vases full of sticks, does that sound familiar? I’m pretty sure that it’s not just me who opens the boot of the car to find a stash of newly-found BRILLIANT sticks that can’t possibly be left behind?
These stick finds are so perfect. So special, that they are immediately inseparable from their new proud owner. So wonderful, that you know that even if you tried to SUGGEST leaving them behind, the devastation that would follow is just not worth the effort!
If you too are the proud parent of a stick connoisseur, I KNOW you need to hear some crazy crafty ideas as to what you can do with that stick stash!
1. Stick Worry Dolls
Inspired by the Guatemalan tradition of telling your worries to a doll before you go to sleep, all you need to do is find a little stubby stick, wind him a woolly jumper, stick on some googly eyes and… hey presto! A little worry buddy!
2. Make a Story Stick
This super ancient technique was originally used to help prompt a retelling or mapping of a route or journey. Take a medium-sized stick, tie either some rubber bands or some string onto it, then, as you walk, collect some nature treasure and attach it to it. Simple! Then, you can use your stick to tell somebody else all about your walk, using the finds as memory prompts (preferably, down the pub!).
3. Walking Stick
Oh no. Not just any old stick. A PROPER walking stick, perfect for those excellent walking stick-sized finds! Take your stick home, wash it (you can sand it if you’re feeling fancy), then paint it. You can do anything you like! Paint patterns, attach ribbons…. We did ours at Christmas time and attached bells and fairy lights! Be as creative as you like and when you’re finished, make sure you head out and show it off on your next walk!
4. Stick Bug Hotel
This one could be my favourite. It requires so little effort that it’s genius! Grab yourself an old cracked plant pot, tip it on its side and fill it with sticks big and small. You could add woody bits such as bark, pine cones, moss and stones too. Leave it, then check back in a few weeks to see what mini beasts have made a home there!
5. Magic Wands
Ooh it’s a classic this one! Grab a magic wand-sized stick, the thicker the better, then find some nature bits to add. Acorns dunked in eco-glitter, seed pod heads, leaves, more twigs, anything that’s exciting (and definitely magical!). For the bigger kids, you could have a punt at whittling. A lovely friend of mine over on Instagram (@catkinandco) introduced us to stick whittling using a potato peeler! So why not try whittling some designs (adult supervision DEFINITELY REQUIRED for that one)?
6. Stick Dreamcatcher
A dreamcatcher is supposed to catch bad dreams, but did you know you can make a stick version? Make a stick frame using some glue and some colourful string or wool. Weave the frame for a spider web effect, hang feathers and add anything else you like to it!
7. Stick Weaving Frame
Speaking of weaving… grab four sticks and tie them together to make a rectangular frame. Wind wool or string across the central area in the middle to make a weaving frame, then fill it with all the beautiful things you find on your walk. You could make this a sensory activity by finding something spiky, or smooth… why not check our free sensory scavenger hunt sheets on www.thereluctantexplorers.com.
8. Stick Crown
What better for the king or queen of stick collecting than to have their very own stick crown? It’s easy-peasy! Little twigs and sticks work best, so go grab some card, measure your stick regent’s head and glue the sticks all around it.
9. Rainbow Scavenger Stick
Time to grab those paints again! Find a middle-sized stick. Paint rainbow stripes on it and take yourself on a rainbow hunt! Try finding all the colours of the rainbow and match it to your rainbow stick. You could tie them on and create a beautiful rainbow to remember!
10. Stick Picture Frames
What better accessory to decorate the interior of a stick connoisseur’s bedroom than a stick picture frame? Grab an old picture frame, stick your sticks around the frame in any kind of pattern you like (it could just be a massive birds’ nest of twigs!), then add a picture. Maybe it’ll be of a stick….. I dunno! That part’s up to you!
So there you go. A lifetime’s worth of ideas as to how you can reduce your stick stash and turn it into stick wonder art! Hope you enjoy!
For more ideas as to what you can do with your stick collection (or pine cone collections, or stone collections, or leaf collections and so much more), head to http://www.thereluctantexplorers.com. You can also follow @thereluctantexplorers on Instagram and Facebook.