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  • Emily H.

Popsicle Stick Pick-Up

The goal of this activity is to work on bettering the child’s self-image through purposeful thinking. The prompts will be oriented toward self-reflection and mindfulness, encouraging the children to work towards those goals.

You might have played a game similar to this at school or with friends. All you have to do is drop a handful of sticks into a pile and then pull them out without breaking the stack! The difference in this game is that the sticks will also have fun sentences to talk about. You’ll get to practice telling your friends all about yourself, and maybe by the end, you’ll even know something new about yourself!


  • 20-30 Colorful popsicle sticks

  • Black marker

  • Piece of paper

  • List of questions (you can use mine or come up with your own!)

Step 1: First, you’ll need to get your sticks ready to play. I had popsicle sticks that were already colorful. If you don’t have those, you can paint plain popsicle sticks. All you’ll need is 3 or 4 colors, a paintbrush, and a place to paint! You should lay all the sticks out and paint each one. Let them dry for at least 10 minutes and then flip them all over and paint the other side. When they are dry on both sides, you can move on to step 2.

Step 2: Next, you’ll make your list of sentences. These are going to be used during the game to help us think deeper about ourselves. I wrote some questions and some statements. An example of a question would be “What is your favorite relaxing activity?”. I thought that would be a good question to ask because everybody has different things that help them relax! An example of a statement would be “Say something positive about yourself”. I wrote that statement because thinking positively about yourself is something that a lot of people need to do more often. I decided to write my list on a piece of paper and then write them on the sticks. I decided to do it this way to try to make fewer mistakes. This gave me the chance to change my questions before writing them permanently on the sticks. You can use my list or come up with your own questions. If you do make your own, try to think of questions related to yourself that will help others learn about you. If your sentences are too long, you can number them on the sheet of paper and then write the number connected with each sentence on the sticks. If you play this way, you’ll have to make sure to keep the paper and the game together because you need both to play!

Step 3: Now that we have our game ready, it’s time to learn how to play! Pick up all your sticks in your hands and hold them pointing up towards the sky. Lift the sticks just slightly above the table and then let go so they all fall into a pile. The sticks should be all jumbled up on top of each other to be able to play the game the best.

Step 4: The goal of the game is to collect the most sticks and answer questions along the way. But the trick is, you can only pull out one at a time, and if another stick moves while you are trying to pull it out, you have to leave it in the pile. As you pick up a stick, you will tell your answer to the question or statement written on it to the people you are playing with. Thinking about the things that make us happy, that we enjoy doing, and that makes us who we are, can be very helpful in feeling more connected to ourselves. It’s also important to get to know our friends and let them get to know us! And if you’re playing this game by yourself, try to get to know yourself better, think really hard about your answers!

This is a great game to bring with you to school, to a friends house, on vacation, or just to keep in your own room! You can write new questions on the sticks or add new sticks if you’ve played it many times. Try to play this with different people each time so you get to learn new things each time!

~ Made By: Emily H.

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