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Sweetie Treasure Chase
Hare and Hounds
Autumn Hide and Seek
Conker Bowling
Duck Races
One-Metre Safari
Whittle a Toasting Fork
Whittle a Walking Stick

Whittle a Walking Stick

Whittling on a piece of wood with a penknife is a great pleasure for adults and kids. Walking sticks are easy for beginners to whittle and make fantastic personalised gifts for family and friends.

Look on the forest floor for a branch the right length to use as a walking stick. Ideally, it would be thicker at one end for the handle, and the wood would have strength and flexibility. With your penknife, start whittling the bark off the branch with short, small movements. For safety, always whittle to the side and away from your body, not between your legs. Smooth the handle end into a comfortable dome shape, and level off the bottom end to make a comfortably flat surface when you use it.
Older children might like to brand their name into the stick using a pair of plastic-handled pliers and a long nail, a small gas stove (parental supervision needed). Hold the nail in the pliers, place the point of the nail in the flames until hot, then burn small holes in the wood to make a pattern or engrave a name. Finally, burnish the stick with linseed oil to give it a shine and use for walking, or give as a special gift.
Always stay beside the children while they're whittling: they need adult supervision when using knives or fire.
You can also try whittling a toasting fork or a catapult - just pick a Y-shaped piece of hardwood and whittle it smooth. Then cut a bit of camera strap to make the catapult cradle, and attach a chain of rubber bands each side to give it good stretch. You can see a picture of a great homemade catapult here