Get your kids involved in making their very own learning tools by making this DIY painted stick bouquet. This eco-friendly math manipulative doubles as a beautiful branch bouquet and home or classroom decoration when not in use. Just gather a bunch of sticks and grab some paint to get started on this fun math project!
This is a tried and true method for learning counting and skip counting that I’ve been using for a couple of years! I’ve used these sticks at home with my boys and in the classroom with my students.
These are a wonderful eco-friendly alternative to those plastic math manipulatives that can be found in most classrooms. Not only are these painted sticks better for the environment than those plastic manipulatives, but kids feel more connected to them because they made them. Kids love the process of making these sticks and ENJOY LEARNING WITH THEM TOO!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this beautiful stick bouquet:
- Sticks- These don’t need to be perfect because you will be painting over them,
- White acrylic paint
- Washable Crayola paint– This is the kind we used.
- Pipe Cleaners– Optional
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Here’s What We Did:
First you need to paint the sticks white. This gives them a nice, light base and helps the colorful paint really stand out! Let this white paint completely dry before you apply the colorful paint.
Now that the white paint is dry, it’s time to get creative! I modeled how to paint polka dots and stripes on the sticks, but you can choose any patterns and designs that you would like. You can also use painter’s tape to protect the white paint, like we did in the Candy Cane Stick Bouquet Activity. This is a great technique for younger kids! Just wrap the painter’s tape around the sticks in different ways and they turn out fun and unique each time. Don’t be afraid to get in on the fun and make a few yourself!
Once your sticks are dried, you can use them in your math activities. Depending upon your child’s age and ability, you can use these sticks for practicing basic counting, one-to-one correspondence, or skip counting!
These are the perfect activity for the 100th day of school! Make 100 sticks together and use them in different activities for the 100th day of school. You can bundle them with pipe cleaners and work on skip counting to 100 by 2’s, 5’s, or 10’s!
When you are finished using them in your activities, you can store them in a vase! They make an adorable decoration for your home or classroom.
Pin this activity to save it for later!
I hope you give this activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.