Build a Giant Heart from Sticks - Outdoor Play

Looking for a fun outdoor nature activity that will bring everyone together? Then this might just be for you! Encourage gross motor skills, teamwork & some simple maths whilst building a giant heart from sticks. Great for all ages to join in with.

The other morning we headed out for a wander around a nearby park. It was a beautiful frosty start to the day, & almost as soon as we entered the park Minnie had found a couple of sticks. Some kids collect pebbles, or leaves, my kiddo collects sticks... in all shapes & sizes.

As we walked along I was thinking about a project that Jamie from Hands on : as we grow was putting together to raise funds for the American Heart Association (AHA). She's created a collaborative book with fellow bloggers & invited them to submit a heart theme project for the book. As I watched Minnie strolling along with her sticks I knew our contribution had to involve something she LOVED, & the inspiration for our activity was in her hands!

We started to create a rough heart shape with some large sticks we found around the base of the trees.

Minnie eagerly collected more sticks & together we began to fill in the shape. 

Soon she was independently collecting sticks & filling the heart shape. As she added the twigs she was exploring shape, length & comparing & estimating which sticks would fit within the frame. We chatted about where we might need to add more sticks, what sizes we needed & how heavy they were. Simple hands-on maths exploration right there. 

She was so pleased with her finished creation, & so excited to see this image in the fabulous 'Heart Project' book.

Minnie's creativity didn't finish there though, soon the heart became a home as Minnie turned it into a bird's nest! She became a bird & flew around running & flapping her arms before settling herself in the middle of the nest for a rest!  Her bird play continued until it was time for us to head home, this time though only one stick came back with us.

We left the heart just as Minnie had created it, ready for someone else to discover.
Maybe someone else will admire it, or maybe a dog will collect a stick from it? I really hope more children will find it & play with it so the joyful fun continues.