‘Game After Sticky Game’! A Guide to Nature’s Ultimate Toy… The Stick.

You can’t beat a good stick for making the great outdoors even more of an adventure. Take a look at these fab ideas and books and get a little inspiration for some wholesome family fun.

We’re making the most of the cooler, if somewhat rainy, autumn days here. It looks like it’s going to be a fabulous year for fall color but I have to admit that friends’ photos coming out of the UK of stacks and sacks of conkers have me nostalgic …and a little jealous! I think we do have them here in Illinois, the buckeye, but there are so many little critters stocking up for winter that they are something of a rare find.

One thing we do have plenty of though is sticks. And my kids love a good stick! It doesn’t matter if it’s just carrying them, poking with them or banging them as we walk a stick makes everything better.

Sticks are the new season’s cardboard box. They are the ultimate in pretend play. The toy with endless opportunities. If you’re not convinced read ‘Stanley’s Stick‘ by John Hegley (UK). The book charms me everytime, such beautiful cadence and language written on that line where make believe is real.

Poohsticks (where two or more people drop a stick in a stream on one side of the bridge and run to the other side to see who’s flows under first) is a firm favorite stick game here and is played at any opportunity. We are also fond of a fair bit of make believe and inventing. Last summer Big Brother made a fishing rod from a great stick find. It seemed to have a natural handle and gentle curve such that its destiny was already written. It was actually used successfully at the lake but it has also been a lot of fun inside (minus the paperclip hook and with a shorter string!).

However, our sticky games have been given a whole new level of potential with the purchase of this book. ‘The Stick Book: Loads of things you can make or do with a stick‘ by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks (UK) really lives up to it’s name!

I love that it has ideas for every occasion and weather. From the simple pretend wands and staffs to whimsical art and more ‘adventurous’ fire starting, shelter building and cooking. The photographs are beautiful and instructions clear. It’s a gift that really helps childhood get back to it’s essence.

This last week we’ve been having ‘fall’ themed adventures. Our nature hike resulted in a collection of treasures that were great for a round of sink or float in the rain flooded water table. My assistance and science experiment was quickly dismissed and Little Brother raided his stick collection to find a ‘stirring stick’ for his ‘caldron’. He had so much fun adding to his potion and whizzing it all around at great speed soaking everything including himself. There’s a spread on other stirring stick activities in ‘The Stick Book’.


As autumn really kicks in I’m looking forward to trying some of the bigger stick projects. Do you and your children have any favorite ‘sticky games’?

Disclosure: Contains affiliate links.

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