Throughout time, children have played with sticks. And why not? Sticks can transform into whatever we want it to! They are usually available in abundance and they can transform before our eyes.
This is perfect for farm or harvest themed play as children giddy up and ride around your backyard!
This activity is more work for the educator or caregiver to put together than for children, but always invite children to help you stuff the sock, cut materials, and clean up, and the final product can lead to hours of fun!
Set up Time: 20 minutes
Go outside and find sturdy sticks, or you can use an old mop or broom stick! We had a nice walking stick that had previously been sanded down where the branches were broken off.
Gather your materials. This includes a hot glue gun, tall sock, rags, foam/felt, yarn, and ribbon. We didn’t have ribbon so we made our own by cutting a sheet of felt in a spiral to make felt ribbon!
First, stuff your sock with rags, and place it on the end of the stick. Tie the sock on to the stick with yarn.
Get your hot glue gun ready to decorate your horse. With the foam/gelt, cut out eyes, ears, nose holes and glue them on to the horse. The mane can be made by hot- glueing strips of yarn that is the same length on to a ribbon, and then hot glueing that ribbon to the horses head. Use your ribbon to add reins to the horse. Then, head outside and ride your horse wherever the wild winds take you!
- Foam sheets
- Collected sticks
- Glue gun
Learning Through Play
Cognitive: Pretend Play – This toy is a classic throughout time for a reason! While modern life seems to advance extremely quickly before our eyes, sometimes going “back to the basics” with children is what works best. Brainstorm together about what other animals you could make with the same technique as your stick pony and see where your imaginations take you!
Physical: Gross-Motor– This is a great way to encourage children to practice galloping while holding on to their stick. They might not be able to move very fast (or maybe then can!) but it will require them to use a bit of coordination to move around with their stick.
School Readiness: Rhymes – There are some great children’s songs that you can sing to accompany a farm themed costume party. We have this under rhyming as many songs have a natural rhythm or rhyme that helps to build children’s literacy skills before they get to school. Some farm favorites are: Old McDonald, BINGO, Lola the Cow, 5 Little Ducks, and you can also search for wholesome old country music.
See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with the other fun movement activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.