We are always looking for cheap ways to play, and a bag of craft sticks definitely fits that inexpensive bill. Craft sticks are popsicle sticks that come in several different sizes and colors, and don't require sticky mess clean-up before use. Each type can be used in many ways for hours of fun, and best of all, they don't require any set up! If you have a bag of craft sticks, have some fun these five imaginative activities. They allow for completely open-ended play, and give children a chance get creative during playtime.
Use the craft sticks to set up the outline of a hopscotch frame. There are many ways to play hopscotch, so start simple by creating the original pattern: 3 single boxes in a row, followed by 1 double-box, 1 single-box, 1 double-box, 1 single-box, and a circle at the end. Using craft sticks makes it easier to change the game framework, so encourage your child to create his own patterns as he goes along.
Build a city indoors! Use craft sticks to outline roads, highways, and more. Your child can use his favorite cars to travel to different parts of the house on the craft stick paths.
Craft Stick Puppets
Any drawing or construction-paper masterpiece can be more fun when made into a puppet! Challenge your child to create her favorite animal or person, and then bring out the craft sticks as a surprise to keep the play going. Performing in a "puppet show" is also a great way to work on basic storytelling and sequencing skills.
Amazing things happen when kids' imaginations kick into gear. Give your child a bag of craft sticks and some basic crafting supplies and see what she makes. If she needs suggestions, try asking about what she is thinking instead of directing her "creative" play.
Craft sticks are a great way to turn numbers on a piece of paper into something you can hold and count. In the early stages of math, try having some on hand during homework time. It is easier to add, subtract, multiply, and divide when you can TOUCH the answer.
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