Today I was focussed on the children’s interactions with the natural world and all its infinite materials. We collected apples again. We wondered how many different flowers there are on our way from day care to the park. We touched and smelled and marvelled. My neighbor Michael was out watering his front garden when I was off to school and I admired his perseverence. “It’s all for the kids,” he told me again, and again I was amazed at how the wonder of children can transform the world. On the way home from the park, we had to stop and touch and admire his garden and I told the kids his words, and confident beings that they are with their own importance, they were not surprised.

Part way home my five picked up a long and fluid stick. He bent it in an arch, and I commented on how it was the same shape as an arch over another neighbor’s garden, which we had also admired along our walk. He agreed, then shaped it into another arch, and asked which letter it was. I wondered aloud, watching my boy with his beloved stick, and my girl with her shorter one, having photographed my ones with their birthday candle stick stuck in sand castle cake, “Why do you think it is that children love sticks?”

“Because they can be guns and rockets.” he answered, reshaping his stick into a gun.

“Because you can make things from them,” added my four, admiring her stick and putting it behind her ear.

“Because they can transform,” added the five, making his stick into new and different things as we talked.

“Sticks” added my one, and I asked her if she had used a stick at the park and she said yes and I told the others about her birthday cake with stick candle.

For much of the next block we talked of sticks, made stick things, adored our sticks. In the back of my mind, I questioned all the no stick rules we have created over the years, wondered how we might bring sticks inside, what direction a Reggio Emilia teacher might take this theme, wondered, as always, what next, what next, what next?

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