While playing outside with your child this summer, don’t forget the value of the stick. Children find sticks an endless source of make-believe fun. In 2008 the stick, which may be the world’s oldest toy, was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Here are some of the attributes cited:
“Sticks can turn into magic wands, majorette batons and fishing poles. When children pretend with sticks, they cultivate their creativity and develop their imaginations.”
This made me smile when I realized that one of my favorite childhood photos is of my older sister and me sitting on a log. She was teaching me to whittle.
When hiking in the woods, I still love to find a sturdy stick to accompany me. Not only does it help me stabilize, it also makes me feel like a voyager on a real adventure. And part of the fun is exploring the area to find just the right stick!
Of the 53 toys that have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame, the stick is the only one that is found in nature all ready to be played with. Sticks are all around us: they are natural and free.
After this past windy weekend our yard was filled with sticks of various sizes. Without any prompting our two-year-old grandson gathered several together to touch and examine.
Pretty soon I looked and saw that he found one still covered with leaves. Over a period of a few minutes that stick was a lawn mower and then evolved into a leaf blower. Later that day Steve and I had him help us pick up sticks and put them in a trash can.
What a fun afternoon! Now I want to find sticks to use to draw in the sand, make a campfire and then roast marshmallows!