Thinking Sticks a.k.a. "Sandra Dodd's Thought Manipulatives"

NEWS March 2015

Thinking Sticks aren't for sale anymore. If you would like to make a set of your own, there are some links (at the bottom of the page)_to word lists in a few languages, and the text (though not the fun format) of the instructions that went with the sets I used to make.

I intend to make randomizers online for these, at some point, but I don't know when.

Are you thought-stuck sometimes? Are you having a hard time homeschooling? Do you think unschooling won't really work? Do you make your kids put away the toy they were playing with before taking out another one?

Perhaps what you need is a couple of thousand new brain connections and the courage to use them acrobatically. Yes, I'm talking mental gymnastics. I'm talking dazzling your family and friends and amazing your own self with the agility of your imagination and the facility with which you can connect the most remote object or idea on Earth or off with your dog Spot.

NEGATIVE REVIEW (not of the sticks, but of the concept):

"You can't make me think."

(Oh, HUH!! At that point the writer was already thinkin' up a storm.)


"I have been blessed to be the recipient of Sandra Dodd's Thinking Sticks. Incredible. Ingenious. Thought provoking. All ages will love this.

"At first glance, they are popsicle sticks with words (concepts) written on them. But they are more, much more ... And Sandra's "directions" for the game are something to behold in themselves...

"So, hopefully I'm not selling something I shouldn't be ... really, I just think these are fantastic and they can be YOURS.... "

—mushy positive review unsolicited, from Anne Ohman, a regular, wise, inspiring writer frequently found in the (now defunct) Message Boards at

"Your thinking sticks are cool! I just got mine today. I like them so much I'm ordering a set for five of my friends... Please send one set to each of the folks I list on the next page." (And with that money I ordered more blank sticks, in bulk—thank you!)

Click here for more reviews, interesting uses and comments and photos
including the report of their use in a sermon
in a church near Boston 4/05

(OLD) NEWS! Thinking Sticks have been found in the Bible, almost. Check this! *

Resources for making a set of Thinking Sticks for personal use.

Consider using 3x5 cards or other stiff paper, instead of wooden sticks if you want to. (Or blank dice, or poker chips, or twigs, or just write on an incomplete deck of playing cards, or... )

Word list in English for

Word list in

Instructions and ideas (in English)

Instructions in German (with a 2015 introduction)

Bâtonnets d'association (instructions in French, briefer than the original, which is good for playing online or making your own)