Behold! The Power of the Mighty Stick!

By: Jennifer Hunnell, Michigan Arbor Day Alliance

 

You think that emphasis in the title is an exaggeration, but I assure you it’s not.

Just think about it. Is there any toy out there that inspires so much creativity and imagination than a simple stick? There’s a reason that young children often end up playing with the packaging of that expensive thing you bought them for their last birthday. Kids crave a world of their own. When they are out playing on their own, with no adult guidelines, they can create any scenario they want. Think back. Didn’t we do the same when at that age? Fabricate fictional worlds where we could do anything?

And what better tool to do that than with an unstructured piece of nature like a stick?

A stick can literally be ANYTHING. With no preconceived image of what it’s “supposed” to be, kids can use their imaginations to transform it into whatever they wish. You want to be back in Medieval times? How about a knight’s sword or a king’s scepter? You want to be a witch or wizard like in Harry Potter? Sticks make great wands and flying broomsticks. Large ones can be used to build forts, lean-to’s, and hideouts. Small ones can be used to create pieces of nature art or can be a handy writing tool in the dirt; did someone say mud paintbrush?

When unleashed, a child’s imagination can take them to incredible places. If we only let them have the freedom to do so.

Still aren’t convinced in the power of the stick? Then check out the video below which features wordsmith and Game of Thrones star Raleigh Ritchie. He wrote the poem in the video for the National Trust, promoting their “50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 3/4” activities. (Check out that program HERE. Keep in mind this is an organization in the UK, so some of the things on this list may not be familiar, but you can always add your own.)

 

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