9 Clever and Creative Ways to Use Craft Sticks in the Classroom


Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

As a primary teacher, one of my favorite 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.

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

1. Handwriting Helper

Draw a cat on a craft stick to help children during handwriting lessons. The cat provides a visual reminder of where the letters sit on the lines (head, body, and tail 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 colored foam and stick on the end of a craft stick. Children love this!

Hands Up Paddle Pop Sticks

3. Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives

Write different nouns, verbs, and adjectives on craft sticks, and then name foam cups with nouns, verbs, and adjectives. A great hands-on writing activity where children pick one craft 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 craft 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 craft stick, and a minus sign and equal sign on the other side. With varying numbers on wooden clothespins, children create simple number sentences. This is also a great fine motor activity!

Number Sentences Paddle Pop Sticks

6. Number Patterns

Write numbers on craft sticks using different number patterns. Children need to work out the rule for each pattern, put the numbers in order, then find the number that comes next. A great math activity to use during math centers.

Number Pattern Skip Counting Paddle Pop Sticks

7. Spaceman

Use our helpful handwriting ‘Spaceman’ template and stick it on a craft 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 craft sticks. Write each letter for each word on wooden clothespins and mix them all up. Children need to find the correct letters to create each word. This is great for word building, recognizing rhyming words, learning sight words, letter/sound recognition, fine motor development, and so much more.

Vocabulary Builder Sight Words Paddle Pop Sticks

9. Word Families

Create word family houses using a piece of cardstock. Write the last two letters of the word family on a cardstock ‘roof’. Then, write words that are part of the word family on craft 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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