Home / Thanksgiving Arts / The Best Activity to Make on Thanksgiving: Craft the Game of Sticks and Play It

The Best Activity to Make on Thanksgiving: Craft the Game of Sticks and Play It

Published by Lou Magliacane

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The game of sticks was played by some Native American Tribes. It was a game that all could play and it involved having a set of sticks that were painted with different symbols on them. The sticks would be thrown into the air and the way the fell down gave the players certain points.

This game is fun for both adults and kids to play and the sticks used can easily be made as an after dinner craft to keep the children occupied and out of trouble. Only a few inexpensive materials are needed to make this project. Acrylic paint is used so it may be advisable to have some old shirts around to put over the clothing of small children to keep it clean. Also, be sure to place newspaper down on the table that is being used to protect it from any paint spills.

Materials needed to make Sticks:

  • 4 wide Popsicle sticks per child
  • Acrylic paint in red, dark blue, light blue, yellow, and white
  • A fine tip black magic marker
  • Paint brushes (the cheap ones are fine)
  • Paper plate (the type that feels like plastic)


  1. Before the children start take the Popsicle sticks and make a mark at the half way point with a pencil on both sides of the stick so you have a top and bottom.
  2. Give each child 3 sticks.
  3. Have them paint each stick on one side with a red half and a dark blue half. Place on newspaper and let dry. It will take about 10 minutes to dry.
  4. Have them flip the stick over and paint the same colors on each half on the other side. Let dry.
  5. Give them another stick that has not been divided and paint one whole side blue and when it dries paint the other whole side red.
  6. Take one blue and red stick.
  7. On the one of the blue sides paint a sun with yellow paint; let dry.
  8. Take another blue and red stick.
  9. On one of the blue sides paint a half moon with white; let dry.
  10. Take another blue and red stick.
  11. On one of the blue sides paint a star in light blue; let dry.
  12. Take the stick with the sun painted on the blue side. Flip it over so that both the red and blue side are blank. On that red side paint a sun; let dry.
  13. Do the same with the blue moon and blue star sticks and paint moon and star on the red flip side of the stick.
  14. You will have 3 sticks with figures painted on them and 1 stick that has nothing painted on it but is red and blue on both sides.
  15. Older children can outline their figures with a black magic marker if they wish and definitely have them put their initials on the stick so everyone knows who they belong to.
  16. Go ahead and let them play the game once everything has dried.

How to Play Sticks

Hold the sticks in the hand and throw them up into the air. Let them fall on a table or to the ground. Points are given for how they land as follows:

Red Sun = 4 points, Red Moon = 3 points, Red Star = 2 points

Blue Sun = 3 points. Blue Moon = 2 points, Blue Star = 1 point

Whole red stick = 5 points, Whole blue stick = 0 points

Add up how many points each child gets and the first one to reach 100 wins. Set a different winning total points lower or higher if desired.

Place the sticks in a sandwich bag so the kids can take them home and play the game over and over. This will keep the children occupied for a long time

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