Stick Totem Poles | Outlearn Activity Guide

‘Stick totem poles’ is a fulfilling outdoor activity suitable for young children of all abilities. The aim of making a stick totem pole is to try and understand the native Americans point of view. This also allows children to better understand different cultures, nature, their environments and to express creativity.


  • Clay
  • Stick


This idea has been taken from the native American totem poles carved with animals, plants, humans and mythical creatures. These were symbolised with a deep respect for the natural world. What mythical creature or animal is most special to you?

Choose a long strong knobbly stick with rough bark. Push the stick firmly into the ground or into a pot of soil. Wrap lumps of clay around the stick, perhaps at the most knobbiest points, so they won’t slip down.

Create totem pole characters by moulding each lump of clay into an animal, a plant or a mythical character, adding details with natural materials. Perhaps you could make a food chain with the sun, plants, a rabbit, a bird of prey, or you may wish to invent imaginary characters for a wild story.

Safety Tips

Wash your hands after the activity.