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Staff Making - Fun Stuff to Do!

Whittling is crafting something from wood. It's a fun skill to learn and an easy project to get started is making a "Staff".

Staff's were traditionally used by Native Tribe members and could have different meanings from a Chieftan's staff to Spirit sticks used for Prayer. 

- A piece of "green" wood - A freshly cut branch from a tree. We suggest about 50cm long and about 1 inch thick. You can use different types of wood, we recommend Hazel, Willow, Birch or Sycamore for whittling but use what you have access to and always make sure you have permission to cut any branches from trees! Don't take more than you need. 

- Vegetable Peeler

- A pair of thick gloves (gardening, safety or ski gloves) 

- Sandpaper 

- Elastic Bands / String 

- Decorations (Feathers, Nature, Coloured Pens, Glitter, Play dough etc) 

- Put on the safety gloves and hold you peeler by the handle so the blade is always facing away from you. 

- Kneel on the ground and place the bottom of your staff on the ground holding it vertically. 

- Place the staff on your left or right side of you, whichever is more comfortable and make sure your legs are facing forward and are away from the blade. 
- Place the sharp edge of the peeler on the staff and push down gently to the ground. This should start taking the bark off. 

- Twist the staff round after each peel and repeat to start stripping all the bark off. 

- To peel the top part just switch the staff around so the top end is now at the bottom.

- When you have finished peeling, take a piece of sand paper and rub the rough side of it all over the staff to make it nice and smooth. 

- Time to decorate! Attach string or elastic bands to your staff and use this to poke different nature and decorations through! Add anything you like from colouring pens, to glitter, to play dough to make it colourful! 


- DON'T push the blade towards any part of your body when peeling

- DON'T keep peeling if someone comes close to you (pets or younger siblings especially!) always stop and wait. 

- DON'T put your peeler on the floor and leave it unattended when you finish. Always store it properly. 

- DO keep it away from your body and push towards the ground, never sit with the staff between your legs.
- DO make sure you have space around you when you are peeling and that no one enters this place to protect them and you. It's called a "blood circle" and it is the amount of space you need to have around you if you extend your arm and hold the peeler. (Diagram below) 

- DO keep your safety gloves on at all times to protect your hands.

- DO always have an adult present with access to a first aid kit. 

- DO take it slow, it's not a race!

- DO have fun and smile!