As They Grow Up

Native American Talking Stick

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been learning about Native American Heritage and Culture in our Notgrass History. After working through the lessons and completing the recommended projects in the book, we decided to add one more. A Native American Talking Stick.

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Native American Talking Stick

To go along with our Native American study, we decided to add a Talking Stick to the activities. With the extremely cold temps that we’ve been having lately, I thought this would be a good activity to get us outdoors for some fresh air.

Talking Sticks

Native American talking sticks are used by many Native American tribes during council meetings, specifically in the Northwest. The idea behind the Talking Stick is to encourage respect to each other’s opinions and viewpoints during meetings. You can’t speak unless you’re holding the Talking Stick.

We have actually used this method during family meetings where the kids take part, and it’s worked wonderfully.  Prior to the talking stick, they would use a toy or a pencil. This worked fantastic and they were each able to give their opinion without being interrupted. 

What you’ll need:

A stick
Acrylic Paint
Twine, feathers and other decorations (optional)

This is one of those activity where I let the boys be as creative as they liked. First things first…we headed outdoors for each to pick the perfect stick. This took some time. Let’s face it, it’s hard finding the “perfect” one.

Once the kids found their perfect stick, we headed back indoors and pulled out all the paint. I would recommend this as an outdoor activity depending on the age of the kids.  We had cooler weather so decided to bring it indoors.  I placed a large trash bag on the floor to keep clean up easy.

Once the floor was covered, I pulled out all the different colors of paint we have and placed them in containers. It was easier to just put the paint containers in the middle of the trash bag and let the kids begin.

There was so specific pattern to follow. The only instructions was to be as creative as you like.  We had polka dots, stripes, zigzags, and all kinds of fun patterns going on.  

When we finished we wrapped twine around the top, but soon will be adding beads and feathers to give it a finished look.

The kids are already looking forward to implementing the talking stick into our next family meeting.