Over the summer break I saw a couple of really great posts on painting sticks & saved them for later. The first one I saw & really liked was from Little Wonders' Days. Last year we managed to gather up a whole box of sticks, donated by a friendly park ranger where we go to the woodland classroom I had also seen some gorgeous big sticks painted by Pepperpaints, you can check out their photos in the link. I had also rather enviously seen some tree bark painting & decorating over at Let The Children Play but had dismissed this as we didn't have any access to bark.
Roll on September & guess what we suddenly had an abundance of - yes you guessed it tree bark! A very kind parent had donated a load of tree stumps & logs in June & some of them were beginning to shed their bark as the children climbed on them. I put it away inside to dry off & in our 4th week of the new school year, we had the chance to let the children paint sticks & tree bark.
This activity was very popular, I think of the 25 children only 4 chose not to take part. At one point it was all just boys too, I think the idea of painting sticks really appealed to them. it was a lovely, dry Autumn day & this was almost perfect for such an activity. Some children spent over an hour at this 'station' painting several sticks & lots of bark as well as the tree stumps & larger sticks.
I think that when we start to go on our monthly forest visits we will collect some more, larger sticks with interesting shapes etc. to bring back and paint another day.