Creative Play with Sticks
Packing for a family holiday can be a mammoth task. We know the essentials- clothes, food and of course toys/books/activities. And if we forget the last essential, ahhhh! What will we do if we don’t take The Toys?!
This has happened to me a couple of times over the last eight years- you think that I would have learned by now! Alas, there is always something that we happen to forget & with our style of outdoors- no-internet-connection-remote holiday, we become creative with the resources available in the environment (even your local community). We have to make our own fun.
Let’s look at our general landscape…
A little closer…what can we play with? Let’s focus on sticks, as there are plenty in this area. One idea we played was Pick Up Sticks. We simplified the rules and adapted it to each family member’s skill level.
Giant Pick Up Sticks
Pick Up Sticks is a fun, simple game that helps children learn to count, increases their concentration and improves their fine motor & turn taking skills.
Collect a bundle of sticks Look for sticks that are similar in thickness. Break into approximately 40cm lengths. This becomes a game and challenge in itself and the process of collecting may become more significant than the game itself!
Hold the bundle of sticks vertical to the ground.Gently let go of the bundle. It will naturally create a jumble of sticks.Don’t be tempted to rearrange the sticks!
First player tries to pick up a stick from the pile without moving or touching the other sticks. If the other sticks move, player misses a turn. Here, make up your own rules about what “moving another stick” means. Adapt if for the age of your child. If you get a stick off the pile, hooray, it is yours to keep.
Take it in turns until there are no more sticks on the pile.
The goal is to pick up as many sticks as you can without making the other sticks move. The winner is the person with the most number of sticks.
Our giant pick up sticks game became a really fun family challenge over our holiday week- no batteries required! This game can be played anytime when you are at the park, in your neighbourhood or as a party game for a smaller birthday party. The game is best for children who are starting to understand rules and can follow turn taking, which is usually from 4 ½ years and up. For your older child (8 yrs up), try the Pik-a-Stik game.