Stick Sculptures

What can you make out of sticks?

The first thing to figure out is how to attach sticks to each other. This is a puzzle for you to solve.
Here are some ideas:

sticks wire elastics yarn tape
  • Pipe cleaners to wrap around the sticks
  • Wire wrapping
  • Playdough or plastercine to ‘stick‘ the sticks
  • Yarn or string to tie them
  • Masking tape to tape them
  • Elastics to wrap them

Some ideas grown ups might use:

  • Drill holes and whittle ends
  • Hot glue

In my backyard we used elastics, yarn, scissors and my clippers so we could cut them to length. Using yarn means you have to learn to tie a knot. I know many of you know how to tie knots because you learned with me and Miss Matthia. For those of you who don’t know how to tie a knot yet you can learn how here at animatedknots.com.

If you don’t get it at first, try try again!

When I learn a new knot I mess it up LOTS and LOTS of times before I learn to do it properly.

Practice a little in your house tying knots around chair legs or felts or pencils. When you’ve got it you’re ready to head outside with your yarn and scissors and find some sticks!

To the grownups:

This can be setup as a tinker tray in your kitchen or backyard inviting your child to puzzle it out and get creative! If you are new to tinker trays you can read all about what they are and why they are awesome for little creative minds here at Little Learners.

My youngest really struggled with this at first because I approached it wrong. I told him we were going to make sculptures and he really wanted to make a car :/ oops. So….learning from my mistake keep it more open ended or ask if they can make simple shapes like a triangle or square. Some children might really like to make a letter from their name.

Once I opened it up and added some more materials (we started with just yarn and scissors) he really got going and got excited about his creations.

I did have to show him how to wrap an elastic and get two fingers in it to make space. I also had to remind him how to twist the wire/pipe cleaner to ‘lock’ it into place. Then he was good to go.

This is a VERY open-ended project so some children who are used to making specific things might struggle to get creative. That’s ok! If they end up with a pile of sticks wrapped together in a ball – perfect. Paint it and hang it in a tree. This will support their creativity and encourage them to try again. You can bridge in skills as they go.

We are going to paint our creations and then hang them in the yard.

Make sure you take a picture of your sculpture and share it with me and all your friends.

Pinecone Weaving

Did you find any pine cones on your treasure hunt?

Pine cones are tons of fun because they can be used to make A LOT of different things.

When I was a preschooler my sister and I used to make pine cones into birds with leaves and tree sap.
Pine cones can be pretty pokey. You have to hold them very gently so you don’t get poked!

Can you turn a pinecone into a Easter Egg?

What about a tree?

Maybe an animal?

Ask a grownup to tie a piece of yarn onto the stem of your pine cone and see if you can wrap the whole piece around it. You can use whatever colour of yarn you like.

To the grownups:

You can use a lot of different things to challenge your little one to wrap around a pine cone.
If yarn is really easy try rubber bands or pipe cleaners.

There are quite a few wrapping activities in these pages because wrapping is an important skill to build upon. Wrapping is a foundation to knot tying which is a foundation to den building and fort building.

If your child isn’t interested in this context there are many more opportunities to practice.

Wrapping a pipe cleaner around a stick makes a caterpillar 😉