How to make stick pictures with foraged sticks

I love going for long walks with my family. My husband comes too, and we bring the dog for a good run around!

As well as using our walks as a good way for us all to get a bit of exercise, I love to have some sort of activity to do while we’re walking too. It keeps my toddler engaged, and gives us something to talk about – a good distraction so she doesn’t notice quite how far we’ve walked!

In the past we’ve done scavenger hunts, collected wild flowers, talked about all the colours we can see – all sorts of fun activities that don’t require any prep, but are still a good talking point.

This week, we took a walk through the woods – it was a bit different from our usual walks, and we spotted lots of things we wouldn’t usually see if we were just walking through fields. My 2 year old loved seeing all the sticks on the ground – there were literally thousands!

We collected a good handful of sticks, and popped them under the baby’s pushchair, promising we’d come do something with them later.

When we got home, I used some secateurs to cut the sticks into short lengths, and she then used PVA glue to stick them down. We used the back of a cereal box instead of paper, as it doesn’t get soggy with all the glue.

This activity was super simple, but really engaged my daughter, as she decided which sticks to put where, what patterns to make, what size sticks she’d like to use, etc.

It was also our first time using PVA glue together, so it was fun watching her learn how it needed to be used. It took her a while to get used to having to put big globs of glue down (I’m so used to telling her to spread paint thinly!).

Overall it was a great activity that required very little prep, and it was fun to link our crafting in with the walk we’d taken earlier that day.

To make stick pictures, you will need:

  • plenty of sticks – it’s more fun if you let your kids collect them themselves!
  • PVA glue
  • a paintbrush or glue spreader
  • thick cardboard (I used a cereal box!)

You could extend this activity by:

  • making pictures, e.g. stick men, rather than glueing the sticks on randomly
  • drawing straight lines on the paper and seeing if your child can glue the sticks onto the lines
  • painting your stick pictures once the glue has dried
  • adding freshly picked flowers, grass etc. as well as the sticks

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