My husband and I are advocates of wooden toys, so it’s only natural we let our boys play with sticks.
I don’t believe sticks are caca (as I often hear other parents describe at the park as they swat their child’s hand away) and I’m not really that worried about eyeballs getting poked out, as one mother suggested I should be several weeks ago at the very same park.
Of course, I understand and appreciate that sticks pose a certain level of risk while being used, but so do other toys. My youngest had his finger crushed by a remote control car and my oldest nearly choked on a toy car tire several years ago. Kids fall off scooters. They throw sand. They trip while playing tag. They crash riding toys. They slam their fingers under jack-in-the-box lids.
Playing is risky business! But it’s worth it.
Sticks! The Original Wooden Toy
Playing with sticks not only provides a child with a tactile connection to nature, but sharpens fine and gross motor skills and provides them with an opportunity to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
When my kids are building out in the yard, they do so with a goal in mind. Sometimes I might not understand their game, but they play with intention. Additionally, lifting logs, pulling branches, and climbing trees builds physical strength and confidence.
Through playing with sticks, the kids have learned about self-control and following rules. They know to look completely around them before swinging a stick. They understand that under no circumstance should a stick touch another living creature.
These things were taught warmly and firmly, and occasionally reinforced from experience.
Sticks Can Be Anything
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