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!