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Any time we can turn our nature walks into crafting sessions, we get excited. These painted stick animals are a perfect boredom buster for kids! Your kids will love making these adorable craft stick critters.
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Our kids are messy little creatures and no matter what we’re doing, they’re constantly getting something on their clothes. They love having fun and they love getting dirty. No matter where we go, one of them is always getting into something. And when it comes to kids being kids, this is as it should be when it comes to kids just being kids.
In the summer months, we tend to go on a lot of nature walks with our kids. It’s a great way to get them outside and moving while keeping them in the shade when the sun is at it’s strongest. On our outdoor adventures, our kids idly spend their time climbing trees, hunting for frogs, and just being free in nature.
We can always tell how much fun they’ve had by the cleanliness or dirtiness of their clothes. As one of them likes to say, “It’s not a good day unless you’re really, really dirty at the end of it.” Smart kid!
On a recent hike, we decided to gather up some more crafting supplies for summer. In the past, we’ve painted rocks, we’ve pressed leaves, and we’ve even made a chicken swing with our nature finds, but this time, we wanted to do something different. So we asked the kids to focus on collecting lots and lots of sticks. At first, they thought we were going to make weapons with our sticks, but my sister and I gently encouraged them to do something less dangerous. You know, like making these adorable painted stick animals.
At first, they thought we were going to make weapons with our sticks, but my sister and I wanted to do something a wee bit less dangerous. You know, like making these adorable painted stick animals instead! Once we got the kids on board with this painted stick animal craft, they got pretty excited about looking over all of their sticks to see which ones could be turned into the best masterpieces.
As usual, we just sat back and kept out mouths shut because we like them to be heavily involved in the creative process. Although I was a bit bummed that no one wanted to make me a narwhal, I was pretty excited about all of their little works of art. When they’re completely dry, I think we’re going to turn them into a funky stick animal mobile for the chicken coop!
Nature Craft: Painted Stick Animals
Materials for Craft Stick Critters:
- Sticks, different shapes and sizes
- Paint, assorted colors
- An all-in-one glue, sealer and finish to seal the paint
Painted Stick Animal Directions:
Step 1: Let the kids decide if they want to keep the bark on their stick or if they want to strip it off. The choice is an optional one – a stripped piece will allow for a smoother painting process, but depending upon their animal, they may want it to be bumpy.
Step 2: Think of an animal. Start painting. Some younger children may need a visual cue to help them stay on task. If this happens, just bring out a picture book and let them use it as a guide.
Step 3: Allow the stick animal to dry completely. You may need to prop it up on something so all of the sides can dry at the same time.
Step 4: Apply an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish to seal the paint like Mod Podge. You can skip this step, but your stick animal will eventually chip and the paint will flake off. In our house, this would lead to tears, so we never ever skip this step.
Step 5: Let your kids play with their stick animal until the cows come home. When they’re done with it, place it in a cool spot where everyone can see it – like the fireplace mantel or in the garden!
If your kids are like mine, I bet their clothes will be completely covered in paint, dirt and grime from their painted animal stick craft. If this happens, don’t stress out. I simply rely on all® POWERCORE™ pacs to help me get their clothing clean, white and bright again. It’s a powerful clean that’s really good at fighting tough kid stains! Just follow the directions for use on the packaging exactly and your kids clothes will be squeaky clean and odor free in no time.
What do you like to do with your children’s nature finds? Do you have a favorite craft or activity? How do you get your kids’ clothes squeaky clean after a messy day? Share it with us in the comments below!
Denine & Daniele