A Good Walking Stick

My children love walking sticks. There are always a couple leaning up against the back wall of the house. They love the search for the perfect branch--sturdy enough to lean on, yet with a flourish or crook at the end for a handle.

They like to strip off the bark just exactly where the hand needs to grip it and carve spirals up and down.

We tend to get out in the woods a bit more at this time of year and fall just feels like "walking stick time." On Sunday we went for a little hike at our local national park.

They had a walking stick craft for kids. I actually didn't think the girls were going to like this craft as it seemed a little young, but they got into it. After choosing a branch, the craft was to decorate the stick by wrapping yarn around the grip area and stringing beads on rawhide and then through a pre-drilled hole in the stick. You could also attach feathers or leaves, pine cones or acorns.

Both girls spent quite a long time with this craft and created very individual walking sticks. I think alphabet beads would have added to the fun.

Walking sticks are very good for dipping down into murky water.

They're good for digging up acorn caps to make whistles.

They're great to prop you up when you need to rest on a secret bench in the forest.

As Robert Frost says, "we enjoy the straight crookedness of a good walking stick."

Updated to add: Here's the link for making an acorn whistle. I confess that I can't do it, but Nels can make a really loud noise!

Stephanie –   – (September 30, 2008 at 6:09 AM)  

I so enjoyed this post, I think I might try this with my little boys, they also love sticks :)
How do you whistle with acorn caps? We have them in abundance, but I have never seen them used a whistles....

Lisa Anne  – (September 30, 2008 at 6:30 AM)  

We are always finding walking sticks in the woods, my favorite wood is apple. I have never been able to do the acorn whistle thing I always end up hurting my cheeks...
And Lou...she looks like Queen of Narnia on that old bench.

Tammy  – (September 30, 2008 at 10:32 AM)  

Every time we go on a hike, the first thing Katie looks for is a walking stick. I just think hanging on to a walking stick brings us even that much closer to nature.

Loved this post.

Anonymous –   – (September 30, 2008 at 12:45 PM)  

I had no idea you can whistle with an acorn cap! So much fun we've been missing :-)

Dawn  – (September 30, 2008 at 12:48 PM)  

My daughter would love this craft. Both of my kids like to pick up sticks when we're in the woods, but only my daughter uses them for walking. With my son, they tend to turn into swords right away. ;) I enjoyed the beautiful pictures with this post.

Tara  – (September 30, 2008 at 11:30 PM)  

I could see Tess loving this craft. Looks like you are having a lot of fun hiking.

denise  – (October 1, 2008 at 9:48 AM)  

I love that! The boys love finding walking sticks - we have been wanting to do that craft and decorate our own. Just have to find the right sticks! :)

Poppy and Mei  – (October 2, 2008 at 5:01 AM)  

Oh Pops & Mei will love this!
Thanks for the inspiration...XXxx

woolladyfelter  – (October 2, 2008 at 3:11 PM)  

I love these sticks. We go for lots of walks but never think to gather a large stick and then decorate it. Fun - I will have to try it out. The weather here is just getting perfect for walks.

Its_Lily  – (October 2, 2008 at 4:42 PM)  

I swear it must take a certain talent to whistle like that. I can't, but 2 of my sons can and so can my grandson. The rest of us? We just look silly trying. Ah well, it's a good laugh.

Angela  – (October 2, 2008 at 8:28 PM)  

I loved collecting walking sticks as a kid. My daughters have just taken up finding the "perfect" walking stick when we go on hikes. Thanks for the craft idea!

Angela  – (October 3, 2008 at 5:46 AM)  

We love them as well. I introduced them to my girl scout troop years ago, and many of the girls have kept theirs as well.

Kayce  – (October 3, 2008 at 9:42 AM)  

I love the acorn whistle! I've never heard of that... now, to find an acorn.

melanie  – (October 3, 2008 at 11:15 AM)  

What a lovely idea. I can't wait to make these with my daughter Raine this weekend. Thank You

Angela  – (October 4, 2008 at 7:26 PM)  

I think I will make walking sticks this week- since we have been going on quite a a few walks this month. Plus we could then take them to the Robert Frost farm in Londonderry! Fab idea!

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