Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally enjoy playing a video game BUT I tend to take issue when I hear kids playing them. The constant (and often way too loud) beeps, boops and generally annoying sounds drives me nuts. It especially drives me crazy when something else could be done instead. I mean, stuck in the car? Maybe I’ll be cool with it but when at home and it’s a wonderful day with the people you love around? Put that hunk of electronic junk down, kid!
Games aren’t what they used to be. There was no credit card to play Monopoly you had to deal with piles of paper cash that would get mixed up with on another sometimes causing great frustration (and teach you a thing or two about counting money and change and all of that).
My favorite games were Hi Ho Cherry O, Clue (my sister and I slay at that game!), Chinese checkers, jacks and pick up sticks. Sometimes I’m amazed at the games my nephews have no clue about. When they were introduced to marbles last summer they both about wigged and I was constantly sitting on my calves and pushing my face and chest up on the ground to figure out my best next move. Constantly!
In an effort to help everybody unplug a bit, I’ve been working on DIY games and activities for the kiddos. A while back ago I shared with you how to make paper kites and today we’re rocking out a fun game!
For this project you will need:
- Wood skewers
- Several colors of dye
Here are my wood skewers. I have 50 to trim and cut for my set. They are way too long and pointy enough to be dangerous for kids…
To fix that simply snip the tips off to make flat instead of pointy. They still need a bit of a point so that they can be used to pick up others so just trim enough off to make them safe.
First cut one to the length you prefer. Since I have packed mine up for the move, I’m not sure exactly what length I made mine but it I’m going to guess around 7 to 8 inches. Use that first one as a guide to help you quickly measure out and trim the rest of your skewers.
Bundle the sticks together and double check none are tons longer than the others. If you do find a few, trim them up. Bundle the sticks together and carefully the “fat” side of the sticks.
IF you don’t feel like doing this whole bit, you can also purchase 8 inch wood skewers from Amazon and skip trimming them to size altogether!
Now to dye these fun sticks in fun colors. Take your dye, powdered, or liquid and mix it up with a high ration of dye to water and just a tiny bit all together.
Pour the dye and sticks (I did 10 eacg in 5 different colors) into something where the sticks can be entirely covered by the dye. I’m using a plastic shoe box I get for like a buck in the storage tubs aisle.
Allow to sit for a good while. My sticks are bamboo and they took a while to take the dye but eventually they did. Just keep an eye out and remove once the color is nice and bright. Mine took about 20 minutes per color. Set out to completely dry.
To play hold the sticks bunched together and drop from a few inches off of a tabletop or the floor. The sticks will scatter. The closer to the playing surface the less they will scatter for a more difficult game and up higher will make them spread out more for an easier game.
Each player gets a turn to try and pick up a stick without moving any other sticks. If another stick moves the player’s turn is over. If the stick is successfully removed the player continues taking turns until they don’t successfully remove a stick in this way. Players can pull sticks out of their pile to use to assist in picking up sticks if they choose. The player with the most sticks in the end wins! And if you’re wondering, cats make terrible opponents. They just bat everything around like crazy! :)
But that’s all there is to that. Simple and inexpensive to make since you can get the skewers for about a buck at big stores and you can use liquid or powdered dye from your crafty stash OR use leftover tie dye to keep it from going to waste.
Unplug, dye you some sticks and show those littles a thing or two about fun!