9 Clever and Creative Ways to Use Paddle Pop Sticks in the Classroom

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 2 min read

As an early years teacher, one of my favourite things was finding cheap, easy activity ideas that would provide children with hands-on materials to help with their development in different areas of learning.

Here are nine ways you could use humble paddle pop sticks (popsicle sticks) to engage your students in the classroom.

1. Handwriting Helper

Draw a cat on a paddle pop stick to help children during handwriting lessons. The cat provides a visual reminder of where the letters sit on the lines (head, body and tale letters).

Handwriting Helper Paddle Pop Stick

2. Hands Up!

A cute way to encourage children to put their hands up during small group or whole class work. Cut out a hand template on coloured foam and stick on the end of a paddle pop stick. Children love this!

Hands Up Paddle Pop Sticks

3. Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives

Write nouns, verbs and adjectives on paddle pop sticks, and then name foam cups with nouns, verbs and adjectives. A great hands-on writing activity where children pick one paddle pop stick from each cup and then create silly sentences. Alternatively, children can sort the words into nouns, verbs and adjectives. The options are endless!

Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives Paddle Pop Sticks

4. Googly Reading Eye

Stick a googly eye on the end of a paddle pop stick for children to use as a tracker during reading. A great visual tool for children who struggle to track words while they read.

Googly Reading Eye Tracker Paddle Pop Stick

5. Number Sentences

Put the plus symbol and equal sign on one side of a larger paddle pop stick, and a minus sign and equal sign on the other side. With varying numbers on wooden pegs, children create simple number sentences. This is also a great fine motor activity!

Number Sentences Paddle Pop Sticks

6. Number Patterns

Write numbers on paddle pop sticks using different number patterns. Children need to put the number patterns in order and then work out the rule for each pattern to work out what number comes next. A great maths activity to use during maths rotations.

Number Pattern Skip Counting Paddle Pop Sticks

7. Spaceman

Use our helpful handwriting ‘Spaceman’ template and stick it on a paddle pop stick. Use it during writing sessions to remind children to put a space between their words.

Handwriting Spaceman Paddle Pop Stick

8. Sight Words Vocabulary Builder

Write sight words or word family words on paddle pop sticks. Write each of the letters of each word on wooden pegs and mix them all up. Children need to find the correct letters to create each of the words. This is great for word building, recognising rhyming words, learning sight words, letter/sound recognition, find motor development and much more.

Vocabulary Builder Sight Words Paddle Pop Sticks

9. Word Families

Create word family houses using a piece of cardboard with the last two letters of the word family and then words that create the word family on paddle pop sticks. Mix the words up and have children build each of the word family houses.

Word Families Paddle Pop Sticks

If you have any other ideas, we would love to hear about them! Leave a comment below…



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  • Tammy

    Such awesome ideas and so simple to create. Looks like I will have a busy weekend ahead of me.

  • Sana Zeidan

    Great ideas I will use this with my students.

  • Annie

    Awesome ideas I will buy some paddle pop and tongue depressors next shop.

    • Holly (Teach Starter)

      Thanks for your lovely comment Anne! I am glad you have found this blog useful! Kind regards, Holly

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