Stick People

Often when a new friend joins us in the forest I will make them a doll to carry around with them. Some of you might have received a doll made out of grass or sticks. Today you will learn how to make your very own.

First you need to find the all important Y stick. And a second slightly shorter stick for the arms.

You’ll also need the supplies from your kit 🙂

My rudimentary photo instructions are below:

Egg Carton Flowers

This idea came from a gift I was given by a student several years ago.
She gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers on sticks she had painted herself. Her mom said she did almost the whole thing on her own completely of her own inspiration!

My daughter and I often talk about how adults are so incredibly un-creative it causes massive problems in the world. She’s not wrong :/

You will need:

  • Straight sticks (these are the stems)
  • Egg cartons (cut up into just the cups)
  • Water colour paint
  • Paint brush

Optional:

  • Beads
  • White glue
  • Card stock

To the grown up:

Lay the egg cartons, paint and optional supplies out in a prepped area for your little one to create and explore freely.

Once the egg cartons are painted, poke a hole in the middle of the bottom of a cup and poke the stick through the end. It will wobble a little and that’s ok. Flowers are delicate 🙂

Many of the images I saw on the internet used pipe cleaners for stems but I really like the sticks better.

A Frame Stick House

Let’s continue our practice building houses for fairies and gnomes and see if we can’t build something a little bit bigger so they can have some friends over.

You will need:

  • 4 sticks the same length
  • 1 stick a bit longer than the others
  • 5-8 pipe cleaners
  • soft ground
  • a small blanket or piece of cloth
  • clothes pegs

Last week we learned how to make a tipi style shelter.

This week we are going to start with a similar shelter but instead of 3 sticks the same length we will add one that is a bit longer. When you stand it up you can see the longer stick makes more room for storage at the back of our house. But we are going to continue and make even more room.

Watch my 6 year old build an A frame shelter. Apologies for the terrible video. New skill!

The full scale inspiration for this Woodland Forest Shelter

After you have made your modified tipi. Take your two remaining sticks and make another X in the same manner you started the tipi.

Take the end of your long stick and place it between the top of your second X and viola! A frame stick shelter.

It is going to fall down very easily until you secure the poles. You can do that by pressing the ends of the Xs into the ground or tying the ends of your ridge pole to a tree.

Now that you have a frame your next task is to build walls. You can use more sticks and bark and lean them up against the edges or you can use your bit of fabric or blanket and peg it with a clothes peg.

After you have built the walls you might want to decorate. You can use leaves, grass, flowers, pinecones. Whatever you want to lean up against the walls of your mini shelter. When you’ve done decorating it’s time to play!

Find some toy animals and see what they think of your creation.

Maybe you can build a whole town of shelters for your toys.

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.