Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"All I Need is a Stick"

In today’s computer age we all become so dependant on electronics. But what happens when electricity is not available. Children do not know how to play or travel or visit relatives any more unless it is on the television, computer or handheld device. It seems that if it is battery operated or if you plug it in it is fun. Playing outside and getting fresh air is now foreign to most kids.
Here is a personal example of what I am talking about. We visited friends at their cottage and a storm took out their electricity. Their son who at the time was 14 sat around all day complaining about how bored he was and could not think of one thing to do that did not include electricity. When the adults were sitting around complaining about how unresourceful this teenager was, my son came in the room and overheard the conversation. He took in everyone’s thoughts and finally added his own opinion. “All I need is a stick to have fun.” And he is right. To this day wherever we go if he is bored he finds a stick and turns it into a karate staff, a light saber, a sword, a crossbow, a walking stick, a tightrope. The possibilities are as endless as his imagination.
All children have imaginations, that is how they grow and develop, but it seems that at a certain age we as parents stop encouraging imaginative play and imaginative stories. How sad.

Sam went to a camp this week and was the muddiest I have ever seen him. It was also the most fun he has ever had at a camp in the city. He played with sticks and mud and built forts in the woods and fell in the creek. Every evening he came home happy and very tired. It was so good to see him actually taking part in nature and the environment around him.
This is my hope for all children to have a chance to take part in nature again and find joy in no way a video game can.

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