Add Colour To Your Hike With Painted Walking Sticks
BY JACKIE CURRIE, HAPPY HOOLIGANS
Jul 18, 2018
My daycare kids and I go for a walk (sometimes two) almost every time we're together. We have such a great neighbourhood for walking and exploring in.
Some days we walk to the park, but most days the kids prefer more of an adventure, so we hike the field behind our neighbourhood or venture into the ravine for a real trek. On occasion, we’ll walk to the river or, better yet, we’ll drive to the lake and spend the morning walking the waterfront trail.
Many days, however, we're happy simply strolling through the neighbourhood while making all our regular stops, like inspecting our neighbours’ vegetable gardens and fish ponds, and playing on Mrs. Simpson’s garden swing.
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But no matter where we walk, the kids almost always manage to find some walking sticks along the way.
Isn’t it funny how we all love a walking stick? It doesn’t matter how old you are, if you’re out for a walk and you find a stick that’s just right, it’s like you’ve won the jackpot. You know a good one when you find one, too. Nice and sturdy so it doesn’t break when you lean on it, and a good weight so it makes a nice thump on the ground as you’re walking along.
Recently, my husband and I were trimming some trees in our backyard, and we wound up cutting down quite a few branches. As we were chopping them up for firewood, it occurred to me that some of the pieces would make mighty fine walking sticks.
I set them aside, knowing the kids would love them. They were better than any walking sticks we’d found in our travels around the neighbourhood, so I decided we would do something special with them.
I would have the kids paint and decorate them so they would each have their own personal walking sticks to take on our adventures. If each child decorated their own stick, they would know whose was whose, and they’d be so proud to walk with a stick that they’d customized themselves.
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And so, the other day, I had each of them select a stick, and I set up a painting station under the shade of the very tree that we'd trimmed the branches from. The kids had a wonderful time decorating their walking sticks.
Some chose to paint their sticks in big, blocks of colours, while others went for more detail. One decorated hers in rainbow stripes, and another spent a good hour decorating a bright pink stick with black smudges and neon green squiggles. The results were quite stunning!
When the sticks were painted, we let them dry, and then we gave them a coat of acrylic craft varnish to make the colours pop and to protect the painted finish.
And once our varnish had dried, we took our colourful walking sticks for a test run.
A-hiking we will go, a-hiking we will go, heigh-ho the derry-o, a-hiking we will go!
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