With a subtitle like, A Kid's Guide to Building and
Exploring in the Great Outdoors, you can be sure this
book will come in useful over summer. STICKS AND STONES are
readily available play materials, they don't need to cost
anything except a little time, and the energy expended in
gathering and constructing makes the activity almost a sport.
If you weren't a Guide or Scout, or you've forgotten, you
will be surprised and delighted by the contents of this
helpful, creative handbook. The big full colour photos are
an inspiration by themselves! Parents and teachers will be
interested to see thirty activities which are explaining and
using the principles of STEM or STEAM, which are becoming
buzzwords in education. Science, Technology, Engineering,
Art, Maths. Well, how does a tripod stay up? How does a
well-made raft float and carry weight?
Another important factor which is explained right at the
start, is that kids today have more inclination to stay
indoors, looking at screens, following someone else's
creative work. The whole getting outdoors idea means they
have unstructured play time, and have to use their bodies
and develop skills like motor and dexterity skills. They
should also learn to express creativity with a whole pile of
sticks and some great starter ideas. I would also remark on
the teamwork needed to construct some of these projects.
Co-operation works better than squabbling.
Nature has dangers and nuisances, such as water and insect
bites, and the author Melissa Lennig recommends supervision
of the kids, especially when tools or campfires are
involved. Her own children giggled and enjoyed all the
activities. She provides a list of what should be in a small
survival pack to carry outdoors. Melissa is from upstate New
York, took a Masters Degree in counselor education, and now
lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio.
One of the simplest constructions is a tripod; this
introduces knotting, and uses given are hanging a pot over a
campfire, growing beans, and making pendulum art. Making a
bird table or bug hotel teach nature appreciation, as does
damming a stream which also teaches engineering. As the book
goes on the projects, become a little more complex,
requiring more time and teamwork, but they should all be
done in a couple of hours. I love it, and think of the fun
family photos this book STICKS AND STONES could provide.
Sticks and Stones presents a treasure trove of
building and engineering ideas for children to employ in the
great outdoors using the materials made readily available to
them, from cabins and tipis to bridges and dams. Many
smaller scale projects are included, tooâ€”such as how to make
ochre paint with shale, make a fishing pole, and carve a
marshmallow roasting stick.
Opportunities and materials for constructive play exist
everywhere in nature. Author Melissa Lennig (of the blog
Fireflies and Mud Pies)introduces todayâ€™s
screen-overloaded kids to this world of fun waiting just
outside the door. Whether camping or hanging out in the
back yard, children will marvel at the wonderful, useful
tools and playthings they can create with natural objects.
Sticks and Stones details various designs for
the ever-popular fort (cabins, tipis,
survival shelters, etc.) and also covers structures
such as bridges, fences, and dams,
while explaining the STEAM principles behind each.
In addition to structures, there are other ideas and
projects for camping and the backyard, like a fire
ring (explaining the types of fires, airflow, and safety),
the always useful tripod, a travois, a rock garden, and toy
boats. Along the way, there are multi-leveled reading
opportunities in the form of quick features on
considerations like mindfulness, campfire
safety, mini STEAM design challenges, and more.
Sticks and Stones is an essential resource for every
junior outdoor adventurer.