Simple Little Sticks

pick-up-sticks.jpgOne fun by-product of parenting is reliving games of my childhood with Laurel (oddly enough, I’m also looking forward to a second pass at learning math and history when Laurel hits high school…). And often times it’s the simplest and least expensive games and activities that offer so much fodder for fun and creativity.
Yesterday Laurel and I picked up a set of Schylling pick-up sticks at Henry Bear’s Park. Easy on the wallet at $5.99, these wooden sticks come in a wooden box with a sliding lid; great for neat storage and travel. The kit doesn’t come with the rules (which I couldn’t remember, other than trying not to move other sticks when you pick up one) and though we looked them up later, it proved fun to simply wing it and see Laurel make up her own rules, such as trying to get all of one color first (hard) or have us alternate color pairs on our turns (doable but still challenging). Oh, and if you play by the original points system, the game serves as a math exercise.

And then of course there was the fun of not picking up the sticks and instead making name, star burst, and other geometric patterns with the sticks. We pretty much spent most of the afternoon and evening goofing around with these simple little sticks.

So simple, so inexpensive, inspiring so much creativity. I love it.