nature school project: making a stick friend
In the Martin & Sylvia Nature School, "Out in the Sticks" Sylvia learns that Sofia won't be coming to Nature school this week and resists Momma's plan to go on a hike. But when Momma explains that they are going 'out in the sticks' she is intrigued as to what that could mean. Martin, meanwhile, is frustrated with Griffin's interruptions during Troy's story. But during a 'seeking' exercise, it turns out Griffin has exactly what Martin needs.
For this Nature School Project we are joined by Noreene who is teaching us to make stick friends.
Nature Sticks are wonderful and one of the best toys a child can have. They can use a stick to make a flag or a magical wand. Long sticks can be turned into a tree fort. Short sticks are perfect for stirring mud pies and drawing in the sand.
And as Sylvia discovered, sticks can become wonderful friends.
Yes, sticks love to come to life. All you and your child need to do is give a stick two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Some sticks like to get fancy and wear hats and dresses. Others prefer to be colorful. Only your child knows what the stick likes best.
Follow along and I will show you how to make a stick friend with your child.
You will need
one or more sticks between between 3” and 6”
tools: x-acto knife, scissors, hot glue gun,
acrylic paint and paintbrush
yarn, fabric and felt scraps
How to Make a Stick Friend
Step 1: Look around your backyard or at the park and find a stick that is more or less the diameter of your thumb. Cut it to your desired length as necessary.
Step 2: If you found the stick on the ground, it is best to place it in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes to ensure that any bugs that may have moved in won’t be gnawing on the wood in your house at some point. Sticks freshly cut from trees don’t need to be heated in the oven.
Step 3: Think about how to decorate your stick. Here are some ideas:
Keep it simple. Draw on a face with a permanent marker, maybe add an acorn top for a hat and your child’s stick is ready to go.
Paint the stick with acrylic paints. My daughter decided to make rainbow girl and my son was set on making a blue Jack Frost, who has been covering everything with ice crystals.
Dress up your stick with pieces of fabric or felt that can be tied on, glued on or attached with string or a ribbon. The dress for the mom of this lovely autumn family was made by stitching thread in a simply up and down pattern and then tying it in the front.
Add hair. Cut yarn to desired length and glue to the top of the stick with tacky glue or a hot glue gun. Long hair can be braided or tied into a ponytail.
Acorn caps make perfect hats. Attach them with a bit of tacky glue or hot glue. Pine needles, soft twigs, vines and grasses can be tied on.
Add a face. Slice a bit of bark off the stick to create a face and draw on eyes, nose and mouth with a thin marker.
Now the stick friend is ready to go on adventures with your child. And since adventuring makes you sleepy, your child's stick friend may need a bed. Or how about a simple house out of a cardboard box? As you can see stick friends are just the beginning of a wonderful creative journey.
These adorable stick friends also make excellent props for storytelling and puppet shows.
About the Author
Nature School Blogger
Noreen Greimann helps parents fill their children’s life with magic and joy with her Back-to-the-Basics approach. Her short stories and activity series have become a popular resource for parents, and encompass 20 years of her experience coaching families with young children. She also shares her wisdom, experiences and ideas on her blog Entangled Harmony. When she is not writing, Noreen runs a nature program for children in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband, two kids and several colonies of honeybees on an acre filled with gardens, tree forts and fairy houses.
About the Martin & Sylvia: Nature School Series
As the summer comes to an end, Momma, Martin and Sylvia reflect on all the things they loved about the summer season: hikes, walks along the beach, blueberry picking, climbing trees and collecting bird feathers. Then Momma suggests that they keep the summer outdoor fun alive all year long: “Every Thursday, lets have Nature School!” And so Martin joins the Goose-eye Wilderness School, and Sylvia and her friend Sophia create a Nature home-school. From wild craft cooking to outdoor games to building projects to tree identification, Nature School will be a year of unfolding learning and fun.