Crafting a Walking Stick

As often happens with change, a transition in weather from spring to summer, summer to fall, autumn to winter, and back to spring often stirs up a desire to remember back over the seasons past and look ahead to the coming days. For children, this remembering is not always a linear thought – it can be a pine cone found tucked safely in a treasure bag, a shell pulled from the bottom of a pocket, a stick that seemingly followed your little one home and now rests by the door. These bits of nature bring us back to the time and place the treasure was discovered, their tangible nature helping to emotionally ground and connect big and little people alike within that memory.

Today we are both building on children’s natural inclination to collect things, and we are using literature to further connections, as your little one crafts a walking stick.

You will need:

walking stick materials | Daniel and His Walking Stick by Wendy McCormick, illustrated by Constance Bergum
– a walking stick
– collected bits of nature
– string or yarn
– scissors
– (optional) paint and glue
– any other decorations you’d like to include (we opted to add jingle bells)

What to do:

Start by reading Daniel and His Walking Stick. It is a sweet tale about a child from the city who meets an old man, a friend of her grandfather, during a visit to the country. He teaches her about the woods and land. She considers him to be an honorary grandfather. It is a wonderful example of the role adults can play in the life of a child, even if they are not related, and how much richer those relationships make a child’s world as well.

Daniel and His Walking Stick plus Homemade Walking Stick | inside of Daniel and His Walking Stick |

Now you can go for a walk and gather up a stick and any pieces of nature that you gravitate towards.

a stick | big stick |

Time to decorate your walking stick with whatever medium you choose – chalk paint, finger-paint, crayons, markers, etc. Like the seasons, this stick can be a transitional piece – added to and culled however your little one desires throughout the year.

painting our walking stick |

The bits of nature your little one has collected on walks can be tied, wrapped or glued onto the stick.

adding bells to the walking stick | putting on acorn tops onto the walking stick |

Now go for another walk with your fancy new walking stick – what fun!!

go for a walking stick adventure! |

 Explore More

What else can you use to decorate your walking stick with?

Do some things not work very well for decorating wood?  Why do you think that’s so?

How are the bits of nature different now than they were this summer? How are they the same?

Reading Connections

Grownups – what special story about your child and their grandparent(s) can you share?

Does your child have a Daniel of their own in their world? Ask your child to share something about this person.

Daniel found his walking stick under a birch tree, where did you find yours? Who were you with?


Connect with us

So how did your Walking Stick turn out?  What did you use to decorate it? Please share your stories and pictures in the comments section below, on our Facebook page, or email us and we will feature you on our site – we look forward to connecting with you there.


  1. says

    We are always picking up sticks for walking sticks on hikes…I never thought to decorate them!! What a fun idea!



    andrea Reply:

    If your home is going to be filled with sticks (as mine is!) they may as well be decorated. Ella asks to turn nearly all sticks – big or small – into walking sticks now, it’s a lot of fun for us both!


  2. says

    I love how you took so much time with this story, creating a beautiful follow up craft and allowing you to get out into nature. Bringing stories to life makes reading magical for kids!



    Andrea Reply:

    “Daniel and His Walking Stick” is such a lovely story, too – makes me tear up in the end thinking of other special adults in my life as a child – I highly recommend it!!


  3. says

    We are SO doing this this afternoon – so simple and PERFECT for kiddos! …and FREE! Did you post it on craftgawker yet?? Cause it should SO be on there!



    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you Amy – We use our walking stick for many-a-walk (often finding MORE walking sticks along the way!)


  4. says

    This walking stick craft is fantastic! What child wouldn’t love to create this for all of their adventures? Thanks so much for sharing on the Discover and Explore linky!



    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you!! We really love bringing them along on our nature walks and adding to them :)


  5. says

    What a beautiful walking stick -thanks so much for sharing this lovely idea!



    Andrea Reply:

    Thank you! We make a few every year – it’s fun to see how they change :)


  6. says

    What a wonderful activity! I look forward to picking up a copy of the Daniel and His Walking Stick book, too. Many organizations around Chicago are celebrating June Leave No Child Inside Month, and the theme for 2014 is the stick! So this activity suggestion will be very well received!



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