Do your kids love nature? Looking for a way to make practicing their writing fun? Then look no further! Kids will get a kick out of creating a written message and practicing their letters using sticks they find in nature. This is a great way to practice handwriting, ABCs, and even simple sentence building. It's also a creative way to experience nature. So head outside for a writing lesson that's sure to “stick”!
Take a nature walk outside with your child, either in your backyard or at a local park. Be sure to take along a small plastic bag for storing the sticks you find. Encourage him to find about 20-25 thin sticks about 3-6" long each. If you can only find longer sticks or broken tree branches (already fallen) you can always break or cut them into smaller pieces at home.
After collecting your sticks, return home and get ready for alphabet practice! Have him write a large capital "A" on a sheet of construction paper and ask him to form the letter using the sticks he found outside.
Once he has formed the letter, glue the sticks to the construction paper. Allow to dry.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 with each letter of the alphabet.
When dry, invite him to use finger paint to paint the stick letters. Be sure he moves his finger in the same direction as he would if he were writing the letter with a pencil. This will help him practice his handwriting strokes.
Use the remaining sticks to write a message to someone. Help him form the sticks into letters on the table without using glue. If he can, encourage him to write using complete sentences.
Mary Anne Edwards is a freelance writer with teaching experience in preschool, first, and fourth grades. She has also taught second grade Title One reading groups.