Remember Rafiki from the animated version of The Lion King? I know, I need to take you way, way back. Way back to 1994.
Bear with me for a moment, if you will, and travel back in time.
Rafiki, from the 1994 Lion King, had the coolest walking stick around. It was functional in helping him get from place to place, but also, dare I say, stylish!
Did you know that you too could be as cool and as stylish as Rafiki? Impossible, right? No, it’s not! You can!! With a DIY Rafiki walking stick!
I know, I just made your day.
All stylishness aside, making a DIY Rafiki walking stick is also a great way to incorporate some fine motor and sensory fun into your (or your kiddo’s) day.
(Okay, let’s be honest, you’re going to steal this stick when your kiddo is done in order to be stylish, it’s all good.)
Fine Motor Skill Development and Sensory Exploration
In order to create this walking stick, the first step is to go on an adventure to collect supplies. This means collecting rocks, leaves, branches and pretty much anything else you can find outside. The sky is the limit!!
Give yourself a good 15-20 minutes to collect supplies, as you never know what you might come across. Little (and big) hands might get a little dirty, but guess what? That’s okay!
Digging and playing in the dirt outside is a great way to expose our tactile systems to different sensations. Your little one will get to explore the earth and find lots of little treasures as they do so.
The best part about collecting all these little items from outside? You’ll have something to do with them!
If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain something about little ones. Especially something that specifically involves my little ones. My boys, in particular, like to go on little ‘treasure hunts’ and collect items from outside. These collections turn into piles of random bits of twig, rocks, leaves, and so forth. It’s all great, I’m all for the exploration. However, I never know what to do with these random piles of ‘treasures’! They usually sit around in piles throughout the house.
Enter the DIY Rafiki Walking Stick!!
There is now a place to put to incorporate all these treasures together! This is a huge win-win situation! You don’t have to feel guilty for throwing out a random twig and your little one feels some pride for finding an essential piece for the DIY Rafiki Walking Stick!
Add in some twisting and tieing for some fine motor skill building and you’ve got a perfectly easy DIY project you can complete!
Oh, and bonus, this easy DIY project is basically free! Aside from a few pipe cleaners and the possible use of a hot glue gun!
Rafiki’s Walking Stick
Large Stick (About the Height of Your Little One’s Shoulders)
Other Random Bits of Nature
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks (Optional)
1. Step One
Gather up all your supplies!
Head on outside with your little one and go on a hunt for sticks and twigs and everything earthy. Be sure to bring along a basket to carry all of your supplies.
Be sure to find one ‘really’ big stick to use as your actual walking stick. We measured sticks to about the height of our little one’s shoulders or slightly above. There’s no exact science for the height!
2. Step Two
The fun step!! Time to put together your Rafiki Walking Stick!
The Rafiki Walking Stick can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. It is totally up to you.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s a good plan to lay out all of your supplies in front of you to determine what you have. With your kiddo’s help, determine where to put each of the ‘treasures’ on the stick.
Once everything has a spot, it’s time to go to work!
3. Step Three
Remember how a glue gun was recommended in the supply list (above) as optional? Determining how long the Rafiki Walking Stick to last will help you to determine whether or not you should use it.
If you’re okay with the ‘treasures’ potentially coming off of the Rafiki Walking Stick, utilize the pipe cleaners to fasten the leaves, rocks, twigs and so forth. And then that’s it! Having your little one do all that twisting and turning of the pipe cleaners is a great way to work on fine motor skills.
Wanting your Rafiki Walking Stick to last a little longer?
Break out that hot glue gun!
Make sure an adult or parent is the only one using the hot glue gun. Those little guys get super hot and aren’t very forgiving.
With the hot glue gun, position the little ‘treasures’ where your kiddo instructs and glue away.
Alternatively, you can still have your little one fasten the ‘treasures’ to the stick with the pipe cleaners. After the pipe cleaners and treasures are in place, use a little hot glue to make sure it doesn’t move! That way you still get in some good fine motor skill-building work.
Are you feeling fancy? Have your little one tie a bunch of pieces of burlap over the entire length of the stick. This is a great fine motor skill for your kiddo as well. It’s a great way to slowly start introducing your kiddo on how to tie their shoes.
Let the hot glue dry (if using)!
4. Step Four
All set with your Rafiki Walking Stick? If so, it’s time to go take a hike! Have fun exploring the pride lands with your new DIY Rafiki Walking Stick!
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