Monday, October 19, 2009


Perhaps especially for a boy, sticks are one of the best and most versatile toys.

Wherever there are sticks, there is adventure:

protecting and defending,

or using as a tool, (he's poking a drainage hole in a wall,)

for playing around water,

for climbing,

and in this picture, after a tough climb, for passing the stick on to another.

Sticks are good for making things like bows and arrows,


a camp stool,

toy boats,

and forts.

No matter how many times parents say, "Don't run with sticks," running happens sometimes.

Stick collecting starts young. This is the stick corral in front of the house of two preschool boys. Most boys start to pick up sticks when they are toddlers.

There are negotiations as sticks are collected and divided.

And then the sticks are taken home.

For many years, boys look for good sticks, and bring them home to their back yard collections.

Acorn Pies has posts on how to use sticks to make a camp stool, a toy slingshot, a toy bow and arrow, a driftwood house, and a toy boat. Just scroll the right hand column of the blog for postings. In the coming weeks, I will post about how to make forts and marionettes out of sticks.


Ronnie said...

Greetings Beth,
I discovered you commenting on Ann Wood today. What a delightful blog.
I raised three boys, all grow now, and your pictures of boys and their sticks made me smile and remember.
I'll be referring to your wisdom to help keep my grandsons interested in the natural world. Thank you!

Phyllis said...

I love this post. It reminds me so much of my boys and how they love sticks. It is such an instinctual affection.
I love your blog. You are such a fun and real mom. I wish I lived near you!

Beth said...

Hi, Phyllis! What a wonderful encouragement you have sent me today. Thank you for visiting and calling me "real" and "fun"! There is something very, very special about boys and their sticks. I think it is instinctual and must be in our boys beause of millions of years of necessity. How old are your boys? Beth

Beth said...

Hi, Ronnie! Thank you for visiting and please come back! I like your art....Beth

gardenmama said...

Beautiful post Beth!
Sticks are certainly a favored toy in our house too!
I love the way you look at nature in such a creative, useful and fun way!

Phyllis said...

I have boys ages 5, almost 9, 12 and 15. (The 15 year old is autistic, so he, in practical terms...emotionally and in terms of ability to do things, is really my youngest.) I also have an 18 year old girl who loves to join in when the boys and I are having fun...and she sometimes invents the fun. I am very blessed.

Beth said...

Hi, Phylllis! You have a full house! You ARE blessed.... Beth

Beth said...

Hi, Gardenmama! Thank you for the encouragement today and practically everyday! love, Beth

Sara said...

Hi Beth,
You are so right! Boys really do love sticks! My boys have quite a collection and I am constantly having to remove sticks from the house, and yard and car!!!! Any time we go for a walk a stick is brought home....and heaven forbid I ever use one of these sacred sticks to start the fire!

Sara said...

Hi Beth,
I just got your response to the osage orange question I had asked. Thank you! Wow! You are so lucky to have that tree!! It is the sawdust that you use for dye....and it makes such a lovely lovely yellow....very bright! I have to buy osage orange anywhere near here!
Love, Sara

Phyllis said...

I love the Osage Orange too! Have you ever seen the wood that comes from it? It is beautiful, too. We have a local reproduction of a 1769 boat called SULTANA.( It's ribs and framing is made from Osage Orange wood. My daughter was lucky enough to be a part of building it. We have a trunnel from it made of Osage Orange wood.

Kelly said...

Hi Beth
Great post! Sticks are certainly indispensable and have countless uses. Each one treasured!

Beth said...

Phyllis, I don't have an osage orange. I saw them in Delaware. Thanks for telling me about the boat, I'll look it up. But what is a trunnel!!!? Beth

Beth said...

Yes, Kelly! I didn't mention it, but sometimes there are arguments about who got the "best" stick. (?)

Jessica said...

I love this post--what wonderful photos. Sticks, wonderful sticks!

Amanda said...

My son loves sticks. He's two and a half. Great post!