Pick-Up “Sticks”

This is a fun game for all ages to play to use up some energy when you are stuck indoors on those not so nice days (or way too hot, depending on where you are) and even more fun to play outside! The variations you can play are endless (see “Variations” below for more ideas) and it is great for all ages. Once I got my kids started on the game, they played for a good 30-45 minutes trying new ways to do it. I also created a short video so you can see it in action. We had a lot of fun and we hope you do, too!

I love the look of pure joy on their faces!

What You Need:

  • Sticks, markers, pencils, pipe cleaners, etc. (see variations for more ideas)
  • Masking tape – for inside, chalk – for outside, cones, etc. – something to mark locations (optional)


Step 1: Use tape (or alternative – cones, lines on basketball court, etc.) to mark lines in intervals on the ground. You can decide on the space between, but aim for smaller intervals for younger children and large for older. We did about 2-3 feet between lines to start. I also used masking tape inside on the carpet because it is easy to remove and it helped the kids know where to put the sticks back at. Marking the intervals is totally optional but it will allow you to easily play it over and over again without trying to figure out how far you are.

Step 2: Lay out the “sticks” on each line. We did not have any sticks, but we did have a bunch of markers and colored pencils, so those were our “sticks”. We did two rows of sticks, one for each child, but if you have a lot of participants more rows would be fun.

Step 3: On your mark. Get set. Go! We picked-up “sticks” multiple ways. Race style, where they picked up the first, ran back to start, picked up the second, ran back to start, etc. See the video and variations below.


Video: Just so you can see it in action :-)

Variations: The variations are endless, but here are a few suggestions:

  • Hop, skip, go backwards, etc. instead of running to grab the “sticks”
  • Once you have picked them all up, put them all back in reverse (we started to do this in the video).
  • Have each child take a turn and be the only one running and picking them up.

These would be great for older kids/youth…

  • Use other items as “sticks”. The more awkward to carry the funnier it gets. i.e. beach ball, bowling pins, toys, chair, hose, etc. Have you ever tried to carry more than 5 of those toy bowling pins and one always seems to slip out, especially when you are trying to pick up another? Hilarious!
  • If you have a lot of participants, you can do a relay. As each person picks up the nearest “stick” the come back and switch off and the next one goes.
  • If you are doing it with lots of people, using clothing as “sticks” would be fun (over-sized everything: jacket, pants, shirt, hat, tie, shoes, etc). Have one person on each row or have enough items for 2 rows and split into teams. Same idea as above, but use items of clothing that they have to put on as they get to each interval. Have one person put each item on and get to the end and put them all back before the next can go.
  • OR continuing with the idea above… the 1st person runs to the first place and puts the first item on, runs back and takes off/pass on the item to the 2nd person in line. The 2nd person now has to put that item on and runs to get the second item putting it on and running back to the front of the line and passes their stuff off to the 3rd person, etc.

Like I said the variations are endless, but I am sure these got you thinking of some others!

Enjoy and Have Fun!!!!

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  1. says

    Love the idea. Anything that they can have fun with AND burn lots of energy is a winner. We will definitely be trying this over here at our house.

  2. says

    Fun idea :) Hi! I’m your newest follower from the Monday hop. I hope you’ll come visit me and follow me back
    Thanks and have a wonderful week!

  3. says

    Super Cute blog!! :) I am your newest follower! I will definitely be keeping an eye on your blog to learn new things!! If you would like to take a look at my blog that would be wonderful and follow me back! For-The-Luv-Of.blogspot.com Look out for some giveaways also like mineral make-up. I am new to this but excited to share ideas on yummy food!

  4. Lakprapai Tanner says

    I’m so sorry if my English is not perfect and I am a teacher from Thailand . I have a little daycare and have 14 kids, I found some your idea I really like it so I will take your idea to use all my students


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