The Stick Box

Sticks are possibly the most versatile play resource that nature ever invented. These ideas do not even begin to cover the possibilities…

Wishing Sticks

Find a small forked twig that is just the right size for you and a friend to grasp with your pinkies (little fingers). On the count of three start tugging until the twig snaps. Whoever gets the biggest piece of the twig gets to make a wish.

Stick Dogs

Tie a piece of string or twine to a short fat stick. This is now your dog to look after. Woof! Take him to a dog show…

Pooh Sticks

Find a stick to drop over one side of a bridge. Go to the other side of the bridge and wait for it to appear. If you and a friend both do this, which stick appears first? Is it possible for both to arrive at the same time? Can you fix the results of this activity?

Stick Puppets

Draw a face on a flat stick. Put double-sided sticky tape on the back. Attach a leaf of your choice to make the hair and introduce yourself.

Nature Jigsaws

Find a twig. Break it into 3 pieces and give it to a friend to put back together. Try the same with a leaf. Stick the pieces on a piece of paper. Create a funky mosaic or just enjoy exploding the leaves.

Pick up Sticks

Everyone find a stick and put it into a pile in the middle of the circle. Take turns to remove a stick without disturbing any of the others. If you do, you keep the stick. If you don’t, the next person has a go.


Build a tower of sticks. Use only sticks lying on the ground. See how tall you can make the tower and estimate how many sticks you used. Then remove one stick at a time until it falls down. Remember to count as you go along.

Sticky Words

Use sticks to make your name or at least the first letter. What is the minimum number of sticks you can use? Add flowers and other objects to jazz up your stick name.

Sticky Sculptures

Use elastic bands to attach sticks to each other. Hang in interesting ways and places.

Sticky Endings

What can you do with the ends of a stick to make them more useful, interesting or exciting…? Now there’s a challenge 🙂

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel April 26, 2013 at 17:55

Really helpful list! Do you mind if I copy, laminate and hang by the trees on our little village green? I’ll be sure to put your website on it..


Juliet Robertson April 26, 2013 at 18:40

Please do! Thanks for asking!


Coombe Mill April 27, 2013 at 13:03

As usual some unique, fun and creative ways to enjoy the great outdoors, thanks for linking up with your wonderful ideas.


mum of three boys April 27, 2013 at 13:10

Brilliant ideas! Might try some out in nursery 🙂


Jenny Paulin April 27, 2013 at 19:05

as you say such a simple play item but soooo many possibilities x


sabrina montagnoli April 28, 2013 at 13:29

We LOVE sticks here. It calls to him to pick it up I’m sure! He likes to poke his in leaves and use them as a walking stick or throw them into water. Yes the opportunities are endless!


Sara Murray April 28, 2013 at 14:33

We love sticks too – what a great list! #CountryKids


Yavanna April 29, 2013 at 04:34

What a great collection of little stick activities! We love collecting and playing with sticks:-)


Sarahmumof3 April 29, 2013 at 13:12

sticks are always the first thing my boys head for whenever we are outdoors 🙂 Great list


Juliet Robertson April 30, 2013 at 06:45

Wow! Thanks for all the comments and thoughts! Other than I reckon I could blog about sticks for ever and a day…


Susanne Remic April 30, 2013 at 11:00

I love this, how fantastic! Thanks for sharing, I will be pinching some of these 🙂


Kierna C May 3, 2013 at 19:20

Fab ideas Juliet, I can’t get enough of sticks either!


Jess June 24, 2014 at 18:48

Something I have found useful for those computer gamed youth that have discovered Minecraft (I’ve seen as young as 5 figure out the game), is have them use sticks like the tools in the game – one stick for an ‘ax’, one for a ‘pick’, one for a ‘shovel’, one for a ‘hoe’, etc. Also, they can have ‘rocks’ by used like in the game (outlining ‘houses’, making ‘steps’) or use them as “Ender Pearls” and rush where they land. Throw in a some Minecraft themed snacks and you will have occupied kiddos. They can play in a 3D sandbox game- aka – the backyard!


Juliet Robertson June 24, 2014 at 18:58

Jess – Thanks for such an inspired idea. I’ve yet to fathom out the fascination of Minecraft and perhaps your suggestion will inspire me to work harder here!


Cathy April 25, 2015 at 22:31

My chestnut tree drops a huge load of chestnut stalks each year, resembling the ‘stick’ letters, like E, F. L, I . They make a very interesting knobby font! (Thanks to careful pruning by a certain arborist, the tree still thrives in Ontario!)


Tina April 22, 2016 at 11:46

Who knew that sticks could be so useful and so fun?! We like to write words and numbers with the ones in our garden.


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