Native American Walking Sticks Are Easy To Make And Educational

If you are looking for instructions on how to make native American walking sticks you will be pleased to find that making walking sticks is easier than you may think it is. During Native American week, I helped my son's class make these as a class project. It was a great opportunity to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and create some of the most beautiful Native American walking sticks I had ever seen. I was surprised that a first grade class could make walking sticks that would come out so nicely; I expected them to come out a little more... messy. Of course, we spoke about Native American history while we made the sticks, making this project a fun and educational opportunity to learn about Native Americans and the beauty of nature.

After giving the children a little bit of background on American history, we set up a field day to go out into the woods behind the school. The children were told that they would have to find a large stick. They were instructed to choose a stick that came up to their chest level. Of course, these actually ended up being Native American walking sticks for children, but the instructions are easily modifiable for adults. The kids had great fun walking around and choosing their stick. We had to stop a couple of “sword fights”, but other than that, it went smoothly and within about a half an hour, everyone had their stick chosen.

We gave all of the children some sandpaper (we used very coarse sandpaper to ensure that we were not there all day) and showed them how to sand down the wood to make it smooth. We also discussed the direction of the wood grain and how to use it to make their sanding job even nicer. We provided damp washcloths for them to use to wipe the dust off their fingers periodically. While the children were standing the sticks, we had a few adults using a carving knife to clean up the ends of the sticks. Some were carving slight points in the bottom of the sticks, while other adults were cutting the top 2 inches off of each stick to make a flat surface. When the adults had finished their cutting or carving jobs, the wood sticks were given back to the children to finish sanding. This went very smoothly, and everyone was kept busy.

When the children were done sanding, they lined up and we drilled a hole through the top of each stick, about 2 inches from the top of the flat side. Next, the children used their damp washcloths to wipe down the sticks. This removed any extra wood dust or debris and made them look nice and clean. Next, after putting aprons on everyone, we poured some wood stain in a bowl and allow the children to paint their native American walking sticks with a sponge brush and wood stain. Because we used a light stain, the stained jobs looked pretty good. We allowed those sticks to dry while we enjoyed some lunch outside. Then, they were allowed to play and we talked about nature and preserving our environment. When this was finished, the children went back to their sticks and they were pleased to see that they were dry (and so were we!).

It was time to put the finishing touch on the walking sticks. Each child was given a strap of leather and was instructed to thread the leather through the hole at the top of the walking stick. Then, they tied the leather so that it formed a secure loop. If the kids were older, we may have allowed them to carve pictures in the walking stick, but because they were so young, and the sticks came out so good, we decided to quit while we were ahead. Voilà! Beautiful native American walking sticks that they made themselves.

Native American Walking Sticks

Our walking sticks were a huge success.