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?
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
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.
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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.
They love to collect, the idea of getting him something to put his collection in is a good one. DD1 would gather and place all her finds in a shoe box or bigger depending and then go through them. I just had to watch for eating of rolly pollies.