making your own bow and arrow, bow and arrow from sticks, DIY bow and arrow

Stick Toys: A Stick is a Excellent Thing

I lured my son out to the dog park which is a wooded path around a reservoir with the promise of finding sticks for making bows and arrows. Left to his own devices, he will stay in front of screens for hours upon hours.

We made several trips in search of sticks, which are excellent, we found, for bows, arrows, wind chime paths, ninja weapons, balance beams, and climbing (when attached to a tree). A stick is, indeed, an excellent thing!


A Stick is an Excellent Thing

A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer

Poetry about outdoor play may entice kids to both play outside and read poetry. What a wonderful combination! [poetry, ages 4 and up]

A Stick is an Excellent Thing, toys from sticks,

Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis

Explore more possibilities of what a stick can be: a baton for conducting an orchestra, a paintbrush to create a masterpiece, or a sword to slay a dragon. It’s not a stick; it can be anything!


Need more ideas?

The Stick Book: Loads of Things You Can Make or Do with a Stick  by Fiona Danks



A Stick is a Bow and Arrow

My son has been taking archery at his YMCA camp for a few summers. This summer, he was exultant because he was able to hit the target. Not the bullseye, mind you. Just the target.

He found the perfect curved stick at the entrance to the trail, and we had packed rubber bands and a paring knife. In no time at all, he made his bow despite the constant annoyance of the mosquitoes that were out, full force, mid-morning.

making your own bow and arrow, bow and arrow from sticks, DIY bow and arrow

You need to notch the arrows. my son tells me. Luckily, the bow sticks he found had natural grooves to place the rubber bands. He used three or four regular sized rubber bands looped into each other to make a long one. A bow turned sideways makes a cross-bow too.

making your own bow and arrow, bow and arrow from sticks, DIY bow and arrowPost haste after the dog run, we had to run to Staples in search of duct tape in order to make handles for his stick toys. My son also used aluminum foil to shape it. making your own bow and arrow, bow and arrow from sticks, DIY bow and arrow

making your own bow and arrow, bow and arrow from sticks, DIY bow and arrow

PickyKidPix, his older sister, was impressed. That’s saying a lot!

making your own bow and arrow, bow and arrow from sticks, DIY bow and arrow

A Stick is a Balance Beam

A stick is a challenge when it’s a log lying across a dry creek bed!

A Stick is a Tug of War Game

My dog will challenge dogs or boys to a game of tug of war. A stick is a wonderful thing for dogs too!

a stick is a tug of war game

A Stick is a Wind Chime Path

My son discovered a path of sticks that kids most likely gathered a few weeks ago when it was muddy. Now that the mud is gone, he noticed that it makes a wind chime noise from the jostling of the sticks.

A Stick is a Magic Wand

We used sticks to make Harry Potter-like magic wands for a Kane Chronicles book club project. That’s like mixing your metaphors!

stick magic wands

A Stick is a Climbing Tree

To climb or dangle, that is the question. A stick is a wonderful thing even when it’s still attached to the tree!

a stick is a climbing tree

We hope you have fun with sticks too and enjoyed the poem, A Stick is an Excellent Thing.


Watch the seasons change in this 15 month time lapse made from 40,000 still images: A Forest Year by videographer Samuel Orr.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Elle Carter Neal

    My son is currently using a stick as magic wand. I complained when he turned me into a frog, so he said I could be a superhero instead (I think I got a bargain, there!). Then, apparently, superheros make the sound “Meow” (aeroplane-like). So I said, “Oh, am I Cat-Woman?” After several more “Abba to Debras” I ended up as WonderCatWoman. I think I need to brush up on my superheros 🙂
    Elle Carter Neal recently posted…How to Make FriendsMy Profile

  2. Jeanette Nyberg

    So Hunger Games! Fen has been wanting to take archery, and her camp has it, but she hasn’t been able to try it yet. This looks fun!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Creative People: John GreggMy Profile

  3. How cool that your Son takes archery. He must be from Apollo cabin in Rick Riordan’s world, but it sounds that you are doing The Kane Chronicles in the book club. His bow looks very cool!
    Natalie recently posted…Around the World in 12 Dishes–EgyptMy Profile

    • Hi Natalie,
      He does love archery at camp and tells me he can now hit the target but not the bulleye LOL! His homemade bows don’t go as far but he loves them. He keeps them in his room. I’ve asked him who his Greek God father would be and he thinks it’s Poseidon though. I like Apollo myself too! He is also a huge fan of the Kane Chronicles and Percy Jackson. How fun that books take kids places including activities like archery!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Great Expectations from PickyKidPix and Funny Things Kids SayMy Profile

  4. “Speak softly and carry a big stick”. I guess your kids take it really literally

  5. This post is so informative….I never knew that there was so much to learn about sticks. Archery always kind of intrigued me, but I knew nothing about it. Your children make learning it look like a lot of fun!

  6. Christy

    Sticks are definately great fun! My kids have made pretend bows with string and sticks, and they’ve made working sling-shots with sticks and rubber bands, but I never thought to make a bow with rubber-bands. We’re going to have to try that.

    One of the things I missed when living in Montreal was an availability of sticks. The parks seemed so clean and bare with no sticks littering about. I much prefer the place I am in now where there are an abundance of wilderness.
    Christy recently posted…Homemade Rocket Ship – a post by my five year old child.My Profile

  7. Glad to know that your children are into outdoor activities.
    Mike Huiwitz recently posted…get my ex backMy Profile

  8. It is really surprising how many things can be done with a usual stick! My son usually imagines that it is a sword and he is a famous warrior. It is so funny to observe his games. But I`m constantly worried about the safety of this game because he can easily get hurt, what do you think about it?
    Maria G. recently posted…How to make an Ayurvedic facial cleanser 3 in 1My Profile

  9. We need to check out that book. My kids LOVES sticks. No other play thing will keep his attention in the same way.
    Bethany recently posted…Thick Glasses, An Apple Jumper, and One Inspiring TeacherMy Profile

  10. This is a perfect post for us today because there was a stick-y situation in the park this afternoon when a girl “borrowed” a stick my son had found. His reaction was quite dramatic. And who could blame him? The perfect stick is hard to find. 🙂
    Erica recently posted…10 Peanut Butter Sandwich IdeasMy Profile

  11. Sally

    This made me laugh out loud! As I read your post my 2-year old was running around with a stick, pretending it was a fishing rod. No idea where she got the idea from – you have to love kids’ imaginations.
    Sally recently posted…What Is A Classic Children’s Book?My Profile

  12. Ann

    Where did you get the big rubber bands?
    So inspired to go look for sticks now!
    Reminds me too of Not a Stick from the Not a Box author.
    Ann recently posted…Sight Words PrintableMy Profile

  13. Sticks are really great to play with, aren’t they? They are everywhere and free. Why buy all the expensive toys? Sticks, boxes and kids imaginations. What a great idea for older kids!

    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Making A Compost BinMy Profile

  14. Thanks for a great post on a timeless toy! So appreciate you linking up at After School!
    Anna recently posted…Free Word Family Printables – 7 read ‘n stick mats for short iMy Profile

  15. This is amazing, Mia! I’m featuring this tomorrow on my blog at this week’s After School Linky Party. I hope you’ll stop by and share more of your great ideas tomorrow!
    Deceptively Educational recently posted…Zoo BINGO (2 Ways to Play)My Profile

  16. That is awesome! My kids love sticks and always ask to bring a bunch home after our walks. We recently made one into a bow, but used string. I think I’ll try the rubber band next time. Thanks so much for sharing at Mom’s Library!
    Tulip recently posted…Preschool Math: Knock’em Down Bean Bag TossMy Profile

  17. What wonderful projects with sticks! I love the book too. Thank you for sharing this post on the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted…Fire Truck CraftMy Profile

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