The Stick Men began life as a pile of sticks, and were soon brought to life by our Wildlife Tots group. They collected all different shapes and sizes of leaves to create fantastic skirts, trousers, and even legwarmers for their Stick Men! The leafy hairdos and headdresses were ornate, and that left only one thing, a scarf to keep the stickmen warm.
As Tracy read through the story, we moved around the reserve. First, we took our Stick Men on a walk towards the river, to get away from the fictional dog who would have used them for a game of fetch!
The next obstacle in our Stick Men’s quest to get home… pooh sticks! We gathered some sticks and went to the Docken’s bridge, careful to drop our sticks and not our Stick Men. 1…2….3…. DROP! Sticks into the river and Stick Men safe, we ran to the other side of the bridge to see who would win.
Having survived the pooh stick game, our Wildlife Tots and Stick Men moved on to our next activity, building a nest for a swan. We gathered some sticks and put them all together, then counted out some ‘eggs’ for our cuddly toy swan to keep warm. In the next part of the story, the Stick Man drifts down the river and out to sea, washing up on the beach.
Tracy read on, “Here comes a dad with a spade in his hand. Stick Man oh Stick Man, beware of the sand!’ ‘A mast!’ yells the dad, ‘An excellent mast!” and our next activity, making sandcastles of course! We got pots, sticks and leaves, and using sand next to the river a village of castles was made.
We left the river, some castles were trampled by Tots feet, and we made our way to the campfire area, stopping in some muddy puddles for a splash on the way. It’s winter in the story now, and the Stick Man’s next hurdle on his way home… is being mistaken for the perfect ‘stick arm’ for a snowman. As is the usual way with Hampshire… it’s not snowy despite it being winter, so we created doughmen instead of snowmen!
The group scrambled around to find good sticks for the arms, and charcoal for eyes and buttons. We then had a quick briefing on campfire safety, and, keeping all our Stick Men safe, Tracy lit a small fire. Enthralled by the campfire, the Tots were the quietest they had been all morning, and listened intently to the last part of the story. The Stick Man in the story helps Father Christmas escapes the fire, helps to deliver the presents, and then gets returned safe and sound to his Family Tree. After putting out the fire, we walked back to the centre and all the newly created Stick Men got in the car with their Tots, ready to go on another adventure.