Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in Camping, Outdoor Activities | 0 comments

One of the reasons I love camping are the numerous possibilities for my bugs to engage in open-ended play, which coincidentally means more relaxation time for me! Although both of my bugs have wonderful imaginations, sometimes they need a little push to get their creative juices flowing. Here is a camping craft my bugs really enjoy: decorating walking sticks or, as they refer to them, ‘magic staffs’. Not only are they fun to make, but they also assist in hours of pretend play.

During our biking excursions, and while meandering through the trails near our campsite, the kids made sure to keep their eyes peeled for the perfect walking sticks to decorate. Once everyone had found a stick that fit him/her, we were ready to transform the ordinary sticks into something magical.


  • sturdy sticks to fit the height of each child (you may have to use an axe to cut them to size, and a jack-knife to peel off any rough bark)
  • acrylic craft paint
  • sponge brushes
  • paper plates
  • feathers
  • colourful yarn (we used reflective yarn I had previously purchased from Michael’s)
  • scissors
  • soapy water for quick and easy cleanup

Decorating Walking Sticks

I gave each child a paper plate dotted with the acrylic colours they wanted to paint with, along with a foam brush. I was really impressed with how little of a mess they actually made!

Decorating Walking Sticks 1  Decorating Walking Sticks 3

When they were finished painting, the kids washed up by splashing in the soapy water, and we rested the sticks in the sun to dry.

Decorating Walking Sticks 2

The bugs returned from their bike ride to find that the paint on their walking sticks had dried. Now they were ready to wrap around the yarn, and tie on some craft feathers, for the finishing touch!

Decorating Walking Sticks 4  Decorating Walking Sticks 5

Wrapping the yarn was trickier than they thought it would be, but it was great fine motor practice!

Decorating Walking Sticks 6

The kids were really proud of their magic staffs, and played with them for the remainder of the trip.

Decorating Walking Sticks 16  Decorating Walking Sticks 14

Decorating Walking Sticks 13  Decorating Walking Sticks 12

Nothing beats hours of pretend play in the great outdoors!

Decorating Walking Sticks 8  Decorating Walking Sticks 10

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