Kids of all ages can use craft sticks to make fun decorative items and games, such as baskets, puzzles, paper lanterns, puppets and wreaths. The classic craft-stick basket is formed by laying sticks, end over end, in alternating rows. Young children can create simple square or triangle baskets to hold small toys and art supplies, while older kids may prefer creating more complex shapes, such as hexagons.
For interactive puzzle projects, kids can attach a picture to a row of craft sticks and cut the image into evenly sized strips, repeating this technique with several pictures. The left, right and center strips from the images should be organized side by side in separate stacks. After shuffling the stacks, kids can recreate the fragmented images by choosing the correct strips from each stack.
Using an electric tea light, kids can create their own wax-paper lanterns. Children can paint colorful designs on four sheets of wax paper and glue each sheet onto a square frame made from four craft sticks. The four frames can be attached at the corners to form a custom lampshade for the tea light candle.
If creating puppets, kids can paint craft sticks that resemble animals or monsters and add physical features using basic accessories, such as craft eyes and felt hair. For winter wreaths, kids can glue craft sticks in a pentagon-shaped frame. The second layer should be rotated so that all corners are visible on the bottom layer, and the same process should be repeated for additional layers. Kids can paint the finished wreath or embellish it with ribbons.