- Best age range: 4 and up
- Location: anywhere
- Best Time: any
- Season: any
- Special Materials: variety of small twigs (oak works well); non-toxic paint; brushes; eye hooks; sandpaper; yarn or string; clear acrylic spray varnish
What To Do: Begin by snapping sticks into lengths of about 8-10 inches. Next, peel the bark off the sticks. This is actually quite fun, and older kids might really get into this part. If your children are a bit young, they may find it tedious after a few minutes, and an adult may end up doing this part.
Give your sticks a quick sanding to remove any remaining bits of bark and rough ends. Apply several coats of paint. The sticks will dry quickly in the sun. An adult can spray with acrylic varnish when dry. This step is important because these sticks will be hanging in the yard, and the varnish will offer some protection from the elements. When the sealant is dry, screw in a tiny screw-eye into one end of each stick. An adult may need to start each one, and the children can finish twisting them in.
Tie a long length of acrylic yarn to each hook and tie to main holder. This can be a long stick or something interesting that you find (a circular-shaped metal object, a wooden embroidery hoop).
Activity field testing made possible in part by a PNC Grow up Great grant, an early childhood initiative designed to help prepare children for success in school and life.