My son is 15 months old and he loves to play outside. He also loves to gather up sticks and walk around with them. We live in a woodsy area and I can't reasonably gather up every stick in his path... I can take them away but he'll just find another one. He is a fairly stable walker but still trips often. Do you let your little ones pick up sticks? How do you handle this?
Both my kids are stick picker-uppers and have been since crawling. My only "rule" is that the sticks stay outside...so there's generally a nice pile outside the garage door.
Thanks Mamas... my instinct was, this is ok because children have been doing it from since the beginning of time, I'm sure. But I've been battling a lot of self-doubt lately and was starting to worry that people would think I'm a bad parent for not taking them away. He has fun with it, and I like that he enjoys being outside so much and doesn't need to bring toys, he can find everything he needs to be entertained right there. :)
We teach them to pull bigger sticks along behind them, trailing them on the floor which saves them from poking each other quite so much. That said DSs idea of a stick is more a small branch!
If you are particularly worried about the sticks being carried how about getting a small wagon or even doll stroller for carting things around. We didn't get ours with the aim of them becoming stick carriers but they were certainly used that way a lot.