We’re always up for some fun group games for kids, especially during the summer when all of the neighbor kids are out in the yard playing or when everyone’s gathered for a family cookout! Or, even better, when you’re trapped inside on a rainy day! Check out this super fun idea!
When Lauren told me that she had a set of giant pickup sticks when she was a kid and that she thought they could be recreated using dowel rods – I totally stole the idea and took over writing this post because I wanted a set of my own!
How awesome! Giant pickup sticks?? I knew my boys would love them and that I could get some good use out of them in therapy too! Such a great fine motor and visual motor game for little ones!
So let’s get right down to it…
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
-15 dowel rods (we used 5/16” width, 48” length poplar rods)
-Spray paint – red, yellow, green, blue, and black
WHAT TO DO:
Saw each of your dowel rods in half, so you’re left with 30 dowel rods that are 24” long.
Spray paint your dowel rods the following colors and lay them out to dry on an old sheet or tarp:
When they’re dry, the fun can begin! The game is played just like old fashioned pickup sticks…in case you’re not familiar (or you’ve forgotten like I did!):
Hold the sticks vertically and drop them to the ground, making sure that most of the sticks are in a pile or at least overlapping (a few may fall outside the pile, which is fine).
Each child takes a turn picking up a stick one by one…but the only stick the child can move is the stick he is actually picking up. He has to remove his stick without letting any of the other sticks wiggle or shift. If he moves another stick, his turn gets skipped.
At the end, add up each kiddo’s points to see who the winner is! Here are the point values:
Black – 25
Red – 10
Blue – 5
Green – 2
Yellow – 1
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
Here were some other rules I read, in case you want to spice things up a bit!
-Whoever is able to pick up the black stick without moving any other sticks can then use this stick as a “helper tool” to get other sticks separated or flipped off of the pile.
-If you can pick up a certain sequence of sticks in order on consecutive turns(e.g. red, blue, green, then yellow), you can double the amount of points you earn for each stick.
-You can play with the sticks outside in the grass (they’re so big, they won’t get lost like the little ones!) or inside on a tiled/wood floor or carpet.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, cognitive skills, visual motor integration, grasp, coordination, motor control
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