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Miscellaneous Activity Playing with sticks

Forbidden Game, Physical Play and Play with Equipment/Props

At many schools, playing with sticks is a forbidden game, yet children continue to do it.


At School 02

Players: 3
Boys and female
Age: 7
Props: Eucalypt tree, short sticks, dirt

Three students were playing with short sticks around the base of a large tree (B3). One boy had poked a stick into a hole in the tree, and arranged sticks in the roots of the tree. They were also scratching marks in the dirt.

One of the teacher's aides came across to tell the children that the bell had gone. She told me that they were not allowed to play with sticks at all, and not allowed to do anything to the trees, like poke sticks in holes. They were not allowed to scratch in the dirt, because when it rains the dirt washes away from the surface and flows down to lower ground.

The aide also remarked that no matter how many times the children are told not to play with sticks, they keep on doing it. This tells her that they really love the activity, and that it needs to be discussed at the next meeting of teacher aides. She also said that they used to be able to play in the bushy area nearby. They made cubbies and used sticks and leaves and other materials in their play. Now that natural area is out of bounds.

It is ironic that the area is called the Margaret Vickerman Memorial Garden, and was established by the local community 'to help School 02 children appreciate the Australian bush'.

At School 05

Players: 1
Age: 6

Boy sitting on seat under shade cloth playing with a small stick (about 6'' long). He peels the bark off the stick and 'writes' his name on the seat. AREA U

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