Maori Sticks

Today I am showing you how to make Maori sticks for the Maori stick games and dances.  Years ago I tool Polynesian dancing.  Some of the funnest times I have had.  Except when I had to perform.  My nerves go the best of my and I looked like an angry dancer.

One of my favorite parts of Polynesian dancing was when we used our Maori sticks.  I forgot about these until recently when I was playing the ukulele with some friends at a luau.  While we were practicing I found my sticks.  I was so happy!  After practice I headed to Home Depot to buy materials so that everyone in my family could have sticks.

My kids were so excited.  We made the Maori sticks and they had a blast decorating them.  We have had tons of fun watching YouTube videos with tutorials.  However, the kids are having more fun coming up with their own rhythms and patterns.  This is SO cute for kids but really for any age.  You learn coordination, teamwork, rhythm, patterns, music and culture.

So without any more nonsense here is how you can make your own Maori sticks.

At my local Home Depot you can find the wooden dowels located on aisle 29.

 

Home Depot aisle where you get the dowels to make the sticks

The dowels that you want are the ones with the green ends.  They are 1 1/4 inch by 48 inches and at my store sell fro $4.98.  You can get 3  Maori sticks out of one 48 inch stick. Dowels I used to make Maori sticksIf you have a saw and want to cut them at home that is great.  Home Depot also offers lumber cutting in the back.  I think it really depends on the worker if you get charged for extra cuts or not.  I was not charged for extra cuts.  The sticks I had from dance measured 13 3/4 inches long.

Home Depot will cut the wood for you

Once you have all of your sticks cut you can decorate them.  This really is optional.  If you are not going to decorate them then I suggest that you sand the Maori sticks so that there are no rough areas or places where you could get a splinter.

When I took dance we covered our with electrical tape so that is what I continue to do.  Then I don’t have to sand to wait for paint to dry.  The electrical tape comes in so many colors now.

So many colors of electrical tapeI really like black so we covered our sticks all the way in black and then used colored electrical tape to make different patterns.

Solid black Maori sticksMy kids had so much fun doing this.  If you are going to use tape make sure to tape each end first and then start wrapping the body of the Maori sticks.Kids decorated the Maori sticks

Now you are done!  Practice different rhythms and patterns.  They are so much fun.  I am going to post below some videos below to teach and inspire you.

Algonquin Provincial Park

I took my first drive through Algonquin Provincial Park this year.  It won’t be my last.  I plan to go back with my family and do some canoe camping.  It is absolutely gorgeous. Algonquin is located about 3 hours north of Toronto, Ontario and is the oldest provincial park in Canada.

Algonquin

I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it is. In the 14 years that I have been married my husband has told me stories about this place.  He grew up in Ontario in a little town called Chatsworth.  He would go up with his buddies and borrow his uncles camping equipment, because his uncle lives near the park and set out on some adventure.  It sounds dreamy.

This last trip up to Ontario, my little family and I made a last minute plan to see his uncle up in that area. We were only up there for a day and a night but we made it count.  The morning we left we drove through the park and made a few stops.  It was enough to tease all of us about wanting to do some canoe camping as a family in the future.Algonquin
Algonquin Visitor Centre

 

The park has over 2,000 lakes and tons of rivers and streams. They have a nice visitor centre and art centre.  Hiking and biking trails are all over the place.

Algonquin trail

The park is home to moose, black bear, deer, beaver, and wolves. We didn’t see any of those animals on our short time in the park but my sweet 6 year old daughter managed to get chased by a Canadian goose when she got too close to the babies.  I have never seen my daughter run so fast!

 

Also it would be unfair if I did not mention that National Geographic has listed Algonquin Park and the Muskoka Country as top summer destinations.  Time to plan your next vacation!  Check out more information at www.algonquinpark.on.ca.

Algonquin