Stick Characters: 5 Easy Steps to Inspire Children’s Composition & Writing Skills

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in The Seedling | 0 comments

STICK CHARACTERS

5 Steps to Inspire Kids Composition & Writing Skills Outdoors

Children love to play in the land of their own imaginations if given the opportunity. As teachers, parents, and facilitators of learning it’s our job to provide environments that capture children’s natural wonder for the world. Why not do this outdoors? This summer I introduced Stick Characters to the children at the REAL Program and witnessed first-hand how children’s ingenuity and creative process can sparkle even when given the simplest of materials. As Natural Teachers we can take this simple idea a step further and inspire children’s composition and writing skills using loose parts.

First, it is important to understand the value that dolls have on child development

Dolls…

Inspire caring and nurturing skills

  • Improve cognitive development
  • Encourage imaginary play
  • Improve fine motor skills
  • Provide children with a friend

Second, although Stick Characters may have many of the same elements as dolls, they can also be the ideal teaching tool for inspiring children’s composition and writing.

Stick Characters…

  • Inspire children to create a character friend
  • Motivate children to bring their character to life through writing and journaling their story
  • Provide children with endless opportunities for puppet play
  • Inspire storytelling
  • Provides children with a friend

I love natures loose parts! I  especially love how sticks from our backyards can inspire hours of open ended play among children. Teachers often tell me that the children only use sticks as weapons. How can we possibly get children to do this? Creating Stick Characters shows children that sticks can be used for many things. Stick Characters can be fun and easy. Try these steps.

Step 1: Gather Materials                                 

  • Sticks for arms
  • Sticks with “two legs”
  • Clay for the head
  • Feathers
  • Eye balls
  • Yarn/Twin
  • Greenery from the garden
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Journal (these can be hand made)

Step Two: Put sticks together with pipe cleaners or twine

  • With sticks for bodies, clay for heads, and fabric for clothes dozens of imaginary characters came to life.

Step Three: Embellish your character with loose parts

  • Add feathers, eyes, yarn, and greenery.
  • An individual personality to each stick will start to evolve.

Step Four: Bring your stick character to life

  • With a little creative writing, the story of each stick character will come to life in the children’s journals.
  • A friend for life.

Step Five: Document the creativity and magic

  • Interview children about their Stick Characters
  • Create a puppet show
  • Video tape the children stories

Now I want to hear from you. Share in the comments below your Stick Characters and how they inspired children’s composition and writing skills. This is a perfect activity for an entire class or a small group of children.

Happy creating!

Victoria

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