Playing with Sticks and Stones

Playing with Sticks and Stones – . Natural Elements are so easy to incorporate into daily play. They’re all around us; shells, sticks, chestnuts, pinecones, and our wonderful collection of stones and rocks… They’re a staple in our backyard, and I love how they provide the children with open-ended and unlimited play possibilities.

Here are a few shots of the hooligans “playing with sticks and stones”:

natural elements - playing with sticks and stones

 boards in the sandbox become ramps, benches, stove-tops and work benches

boards in the sandbox become ramps, benches, stove-tops and work benches

 

Fill a box of chocolates with stones for imaginary play and sorting

Fill a box of chocolates with stones for imaginary play and sorting

Because there isn’t a defined purpose like there is with is with a factory-made toy, kids are more creative, inventive and  industrious when playing with bits and pieces of nature.252562_10150222719177390_683592389_7152385_929034_npretend play in the sand box kitchen We’ve always embraced simple play here.  I’m of the opinion that children learn best through play, and what better way to give them that opportunity than by allowing them to explore and experiment with items that surround them in their natural world.

mud becomes "mortar" in a brick laying activity

mud becomes “mortar” in a brick laying activity

 

I made my own,  my friend Joanne, at Ordinary Normal makes and sells these

I made my own, my friend Joanne, at Ordinary Normal makes and sells these

 

little ones can learn to spell, or grab a piece of chalk and play hangman in the drive-way

little ones can learn to spell, or grab a piece of chalk and play hangman in the drive-way

 

beach rock tic-tc-toe

beach rock tic-tc-toe

 

flowers, rose-hips, sticks and pinecones for a soup kitchen

flowers, rose-hips, sticks and pinecones for a soup kitchen

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but they’re a whole lot of fun to play with!

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See you there! *This post was originally published in August, 2011, but has been recently updated and re-released.

Comments

  1. says

    Great post! Outdoor games are so much fun to make and play. We are trying to get in as many days of outdoor fun as possible before the weather turns. Thanks for the great ideas.

  2. jrozgadeboni says

    Have your kids been playing in our backyard with our girls? I swear we have the same set of “toys” peppering our yard.

    Loved this post!

  3. says

    We adore natural materials over this way too. So wonderfully textured and each unique, how can you not be drawn to them? :) I couldn’t agree with you more that children learn best by given the opportunity to plan and freely explore their natural environment.

  4. says

    Love your ideas! I teach three year olds and try to use heaps of natural resources as well. My last post was all about using natural resources inside. Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. says

    Love your ideas. I’m linking to it for my list of Free Activities with Kids. Playing with things in Nature like rocks and sticks! Your pictures and posts are adorable!!

  6. Sarah says

    Do you think this would be suitable for older children? I’m trying to find out door activities that would suit 9yr olds.
    Many thanks

    • happyhooligans says

      Hi Sarah, I’m not sure if you mean just one of the activities in the post or all that are shown (there are quite a few), but I personally think that most of the activities probably appeal to a younger crowd. At nine, they might enjoy some outdoor art projects, or perhaps making the letter and domino stones for a younger crowd. They might also enjoy making a set of story stones like these: http://happyhooligans.ca/story-stones/. Decoupage and paper mache projects are usually popular with kids that age I think. I’m kind of guessing though because my forte is toddlers and preschoolers.

      • Sarah says

        Thankyou for the speedy reply wow!
        Great love the story stones. They can re create there own stories and maybe use the camcorder for recording or write there story out afterwards. The dominoes are fab! A fab toy once there bored at the beach! I tend to take a pack lunch then hubby meets us there with a BBQ in the eve! Think the kids would enjoy this. As they would dry fairly fast I. The sun!and varnish at home!

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