Not A Stick

Did you know that the humble stick has been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame? Few toys have the open-ended possibilities of the stick, and yet in many schools and early childhood settings playing with sticks is forbidden.

I think that is a tragedy. Sticks are childhood, just as much as mud and puddles and cardboard boxes and sofa-cushion forts. To deny children stick-play is to deny them one of the most powerful tools of the imagination. A stick can be anything a child can imagine. Anything.

Recently my friend Karen from Flights of Whimsy challenged some of us ECE bloggers to write poems celebrating the stick as creative toy. Click here to read Karen’s powerful post, her own poem, and a poem by Candy (the talented writer of the Aunt Annie’s Childcare blog).

Here’s my own poem; it’s called:

Not A Stick

Hold this for me, Dad – it’s not a stick.
Really it’s a wizard’s staff,
And we will fight dragons together,
Heroes, side by side.

But wait, Dad – it’s not a wizard’s staff.
Really it’s a fishing rod,
And we will catch fish together,
And dangle our toes in the water.

No, no, you see, Dad – it’s not a fishing rod.
Really it’s a shining horse,
And we will ride races together,
As the earth shakes beneath our hooves.

Oh, I know, Dad – it’s not a shining horse.
Really it’s a hammer,
And we will build a house together
To keep us warm when the cold wind blows.

And the best thing, Dad – do you know the best thing?
Outside there are more sticks,
So many stories waiting to be told:
Let’s find out what they are.

We’ll write them together.

All images licensed under Creative Commons licenses. Mouse over each image for image credit and license details; click image to go to the original image source.

19 thoughts on “Not A Stick

      • Love it! Having two little boys, I love to watch them collect sticks and rocks and use their imagination. Beautiful poem, I am totally going to keep that for my collection.

  1. As a teacher we have the responsibility to develop all the child…sticks are such a fantastic resource! I loved the poem and will share it with my class next week!

  2. I think sticks are a wonderful tool and play thing – plus, with our forest of trees in the back yard, we’ll never run out. Now we just need to coordinate playing with sticks (=picking up) after windstorms! :)

  3. wonderful. brings back beautiful memories. I was thinking it would make a lovely children’s book…thanks for sharing it.

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  5. We can’t get enough of sticks, I constantly have a pile of them in the garden that the boys have dragged home thanks for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party. Off to pin

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