How many times have you bought the kids a present, only for them to spend more time playing with the box than the present inside it? It only goes to show how little is needed to spark a child’s imagination – sometimes less really is more.
The Stick Book by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks adheres to this principle and explores a plethora of activities for children celebrating the humble stick. From craft activities to games, adventures and making musical instruments, there's something for everyone.
I bought The Stick Book several years ago and have we’ve dipped into it at different times throughout the year.
We’ve made star wands with red and green dogwood prunings in early spring, whittled autumn sticks and adorned them with glitter paint to create hallowe’en wands and played pooh sticks from old humpbacked bridges on our summer holidays.
This week we’ve been out tracking using stick signs to show the way and collecting elder sticks to make paintbrushes. Elder has soft pith making it easy to hollow out the twigs to create blow pipes or to insert a feather to make homemade brushes.
With a few different coloured paints made from natural colours like charcoal black, calendula petal orange, blackcurrant purple or raspberry red, you can make a beautiful wild painting.
As the authors point out – ‘sticks are easy to find, natural and best of all, totally free’ – making The Stick Book an ideal Christmas present to inspire kids and encourage wild play in the fresh air throughout the year.