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YPO cosy collection
We're excited to be working in partnership with Cosy, a renowned supplier of high quality and imaginative products. Shop the full collection!
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  • Animated image for Facilities Management Facilities Management

    Essential services to help keep your school running smoothly.

  • Ingredients and cooking pans Food and Catering

    Everything you need for your school meals and catering requirements.

  • person working at a desk Furniture

    Helping you create inspiring spaces.

  • Computer screen and printer ICT

    Technology and communications to help you stay connected and current.

  • certificate and books Professional Services

    Supporting your people and professional services.

  • School bus Transport

    Help get your students from A to B.

  • light bulb Utilities

    Review your energy contracts to help save money.

school exercise books varied colours
Discover our complete range of exercise books.
Shop all
Blue school exercise book with ruled pages
Ruled paper exercise books for a range of subjects.
Shop ruled
Red school exercise book with squared paper
Squared paper exercise books, perfect for maths.
Shop squared
Always in stock essentials
Explore our large range of always available products and get what you need, when you need it.
Shop now
Making life easier for MATs
Explore the benefits YPO can provide to Academies and Multi Academy Trusts across the country.
Find out more
YPO range
Switch and save with our YPO range, with hundreds of products to choose from.
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Readily available and free of charge, what could be better than to spark the imaginations of your little learners than the humble stick? From paintbrushes to mini dens, we have put together a selection of craft activities that make use of this versatile and natural resource. All you need are a few supplies and a lot of imagination!

 

Natural focus frames

crafting with nature

What you’ll need:

- Sticks

- 753688 YPO Elastic Bands

How to make:

Make these simple frames by securing four sticks at the corners with elastic bands. Brilliant for focusing attention and inspiring children to investigate natural objects and their surroundings. Ask questions and encourage them to describe what they can see in their frame to provoke curiosity and promote language development. These frames could also be used to display any treasures they have collected or to create natural patterns and works of art.

 

Mini dens

crafting with nature

What you’ll need:

- Sticks and natural materials to decorate

- 806484 Jumbo Forest Animals

- 753688 YPO Elastic Bands

How to make:

Large sticks are perfect for making dens so why not scale things down and make mini ones for some furry friends? This activity is perfect for encouraging problem solving, creative thinking and developing fine motor skills. The dens can also be used for hours of small world fun once complete.

Start by letting the children choose an animal they would like to make a den for, then encourage them to find strong, straight sticks that are high enough to make it the right size for their chosen inhabitant. The ends of the sticks should be pushed into the ground in a circle shape, leaving a gap for the entrance and then gathered at the top with an elastic band to form the den. The dens can then be either left as they are or decorated and furnished with natural materials, all ready for their new inhabitants to move into.

 

Weaving loom

crafting with nature

What you’ll need:

- A strong ‘V’ shaped stick

- 301528 Double Knit Yarn – Brights

- 300024 Jute Ribbons

- Natural materials, such as leaves, feathers and grass

- Pritt glue stick

How to make:

As well as providing children with an opportunity to show off the treasures they have collected on their nature walks, this activity is great for developing fine motor skills and encouraging creativity. 

Tie the yarn to the stick and wrap around the ‘V’ part to create a loom that the children can weave and glue ribbons and natural materials like feathers, grass and leaves into. Once finished they can be used to create an eye-catching display by either sticking in the ground on standing in a pot filled with soil.

 

Worry dolls

crafting with nature

What you’ll need:

- Sticks

- 301528 Double Knit Yarn – Brights

- 303941 – Stick on Wiggle Eyes – Pack of 500

- Pritt glue stick

How to make:

Worry dolls have been used in Guatemala for generations as a tool to help manage worries and anxiety at bedtime. The idea is what you tell your worry to the doll, put it under your pillow and the doll will worry for you so you can get a peaceful night’s sleep. This can easily be adapted for use in your setting by letting each child make their own worry doll to confide in and then providing a basket for them to put them in once they have told them their problems.

Gather sticks from around your setting. Any size will do but chunkier ones are easier for little hands. Get the children to wrap the sticks with different coloured yarn (great for fine motor skills), leaving enough room at the top to make a face. To secure, leave a little tail and wrap over it a few times with the yarn. To finish, knot the yarn or use glue to secure.

Now let them decorate their worry doll using marker pens and wiggle eyes, they could even glue on hair using scraps of yarn.

 

Natural paint brushes

crafting with nature

What you'll need:

- Sticks

- 753696 - YPO Elastic Bands - Assorted colours

713120 YPO Ready Mixed Paint Assorted Colours (pack of 12)

How to make:

Children will love experimenting with nature and paint to see what marks they can make using brushes made by securing leaves, flowers and grass to the end of sticks with elastic bands or glue. Go on a nature hunt around your setting to forage for supplies and then simply secure to the end of the sticks. Just add paper and paint!

 

We would love to see your nature crafts so share a photo of your creation by tagging us on our Facebook or Instagram.

 

These activities have been taken from Little Learners, a FREE magazine full of early years resources and activities. Click here to read our latest issue.

YPO 50
Author

The YPO Team

YPO supplies products and services to a wide range of customers including schools, local authorities, charities, emergency services, public sector and other businesses such as nurseries and care homes. YPO are 100% publicly owned, by 13 local authorities, which means the profits made are returned to public sector customers, delivering even better value for money.