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Muddy Faces


A multitude of stick activities to browse for inspiration.

Art & Creating


A stick is a wonderful open-ended natural resource; it can be used in a myriad of ways! Give a child a stick and see what it becomes; a tool, a communication device, a building material, an animal…. the list is endless. In this activity we have provided a few ideas to get you started.

* Muddy Faces actively promotes child-led outdoor play & learning (see the intro. to our Outdoor Play section for more on this). We recognise and believe in the curiosity that children have and their drive to explore and discover. We hope that you will bear this in mind when considering more prescribed activities like this one – often much more creative ideas will occur if resources are simply provided and children are given the time and space to explore independently.

What you'll need

  • sticks (funnily enough!)

This activity has been provided by

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • collecting natural materials
  • use dead wood

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • discuss keeping sticks away from faces
  • if you are carrying a big stick keep one end in your hand/arm and the other down on the ground
  • or if you are carrying a big stick ask a friend to hold the other end – both ways avoid hitting someone else
  • tool use if whittling

Start with a simple chat about a stick.....

Go find a stick; come back together in a circle and ask children to:

  • take it in turns to say something about their stick
  • talk to their neighbour and compare sticks (length/texture/from what tree/features etc.) and share response
  • discuss what they could use their stick for?


clay creature with small sticks as body features
toy bird on nest made of sticks
selection of pebbles in stick nest to look like eggs

Magic woodland wands

Perfect for supporting children's imaginative play in the woods! Create a magical experience by gathering natural materials and create your very own wand.

Read More about Magic woodland wands

Stick Weaving

The simplest of weaving for little fingers!

Read More about Stick Weaving

Autumn leaf wand

A magical children's woodland craft activity - a simple-to-make leaf wand for ushering in the autumn fairies.

Read More about Autumn leaf wand

Threading leaves

A fab activity to help develop fine motor skills, a favourite woodland activity!

Read More about Threading leaves

Stick Santas

Make a simple natural Christmas decoration; perfect for young children to paint.

Read More about Stick Santas

Elder Beads

A simple and very satisfying way of making your own elder beads using simple tools.

Read More about Elder Beads

Knot - square lashing

A handy knot – particularly useful for natural frames, den & raft building.

Read More about Knot - square lashing

Reindeer face weaving

A simple festive activity using sticks and string.

Read More about Reindeer face weaving

String spiders web

A simple stick and string activity to create your own spiders web!

Read More about String spiders web


Stick dot-to-dot

Dot-to-dot using sticks and flowers on the grass

Tic tac toe

tic-tac-toe game using sticks and hoops


child playing hopscotch in woods using found sticks


girl holding a long stick found in woods for another girl to limbo under

'Sticktionary' !

Two children making a boat shape out of sticks

simple stick maths

Matching Pairs

two children comparing sticks they have found in the woods


symmetrical pattern using stick laid on ground

Stick Tally

tally using sticks

Make a 1 Sq m maths set

A simple activity exploring length in a hands-on way using natural resources.

Read More about Make a 1 Sq m maths set

Knot - square lashing

A handy knot – particularly useful for natural frames, den & raft building.

Read More about Knot - square lashing

Stick Literacy

Making charcoal

How to make charcoal from pieces of willow.

Read More about Making charcoal

Elder Charcoal Pencil

Make your own pencil from a piece of elder.

Read More about Elder Charcoal Pencil

Exploring words outdoors

A number of simple ideas to help develop literacy skills and have fun with words in your outdoor setting.

Read More about Exploring words outdoors

A few more simple stick ideas…

  • Noisy sticks - Hit different size trees with a stick – what different sounds can you make?
  • stick ramps - find 2 long straight sticks and see if you can roll a ball down
  • and don't forget pooh sticks!

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

Key Features


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