How to Build Words and Silly Sentences with Craft Sticks

Somehow we ended up with a box of about 5 million craft sticks. Here's how we used them to teach language arts!

I don’t remember how it got here or what I was thinking when I bought the massive box of craft sticks, but it has lasted for years. And years. And years.

My youngest is at the age where building words, reading simple sentences, and general language play are her favorite things.

Instead of rushing out to buy letter tiles, I happened to glance at the box of 5 million craft sticks and decided to use them to create word and sentence activities for her.

It’s a simple activity that packs a lot of learning punch. Here’s how to build words and sentences with craft sticks – check it out!

Teaching Language Arts by Building Words and Sentences with Craft Sticks

Language Arts Game: Craft Stick Word Building

Using a permanent marker, I wrote the letters of the words I wanted my daughter to focus on as she was spelling on craft sticks. We were working with the -at family, so I labeled sticks with c, b, r, h, f, m, p, v, and, of course, a and t. I talked her through the first build of the word “at” – paying particular attention to the sounds of each letter.

We then talked about words that rhyme with “at” and how we might spell them. For each word, we added a letter to spell the new word.

After we had worked our way through the rhyming words, we talked about plurals and how adding an “s” indicates more than one.

After each word we spelled with the sticks, she then wrote the word in her word notebook for spelling and handwriting reinforcement.

Language Arts Game: Making Silly Sentences

In this house we love being silly and it comes through even in learning. On some of the remaining 4, 999,975 sticks, I wrote parts of a sentence. I had silly sentences in mind while making the sticks, but you could easily use more traditional sentences.

After I had the phrases written, I read them to her and she created a variety of sentences that not only made her giggle, but gave her good practice with nouns, verbs, subjects, and predicates.

Again, after each sentence, she would copy it down in her journal.

How to Store the Language Arts Games

To store the silly sentences and alphabet sticks, I used an inexpensive, square plastic container from IKEA.

I find that the bulk set of food storage containers they sell are great for storing all sorts of things and, big bonus, they stack well which makes organizing the shelves easy.

I attached a stick to the front labeling what was inside and now we’re ready for another day of learning fun.

And the best news? I think I only have 4,999,930 craft sticks left! Go, me!