If you follow the TMC Kids Club Bucket List Challenge (if not, why not!) you may have noticed that we suggested one thing you could do this month is to create a Journey Stick.
The History of The Journey Stick
“First, a little background on the journey stick for you. Aboriginal people in Australia used journey sticks to more easily recount their journeys to other people upon their return. They found a large walking stick, collected materials found along the way, and tied them to the stick in chronological order. Native Americans also decorated sticks to recount their journeys and tell about their travels. These sticks can be used as storytelling and navigational tools. The collected materials and markings have various purposes. Some things can be used as markers for natural features in the land, such as tree bark to indicate passing through the woods. While particular symbols carved into or painted onto the stick could show weather patterns, natural features, or events that took place.”
– Sara McCarty / Run Wild My Child Blog: Journey Sticks and the Art of Storytelling
A Journey Stick is an amazing way of encouraging your children to engage with their surroundings on your daily walk. In a world where we are always on the go, even slowing down on a woodland walk can sometimes be a challenge – so having an activity to do while you’re out can really help with that slow and simple lifestyle.
Making your Journey Stick
Find a nice thick stick! Wrap some string or lots of rubber bands around it (which, from experience, is much easier to navigate with little hands).
Pop on your wellies, a nice thick coat and get outside! Start picking up leaves, feathers, sticks, twigs (anything that’s safe to do so) from the moment you step out of the door. Make sure to start your journey stick from the bottom, so that it can show a chronological timeline of your journey.
Added Bonus: There are hundreds of ways that you can use nature to enhance your outdoor adventures. Whether you turn your stick into a journey stick or something completely different, encouraging your children to use nature in their day-to-day lives is fantastic for their imagination and observation skills.
Here are some amazing books that you could read alongside this activity. Make sure to tag us using #thatmamaclubig with any photos that you take so we can share your ideas!