This article describing the stick being honored by the National Toy Hall of Fame made me think of what I have always considered the perfect toy. A cardboard box. When I first saw the article, I thought "How could they pick a stick over a box?". Then after further reading, found that the cardboard box had already been inducted in 2005.
One of my fondest memories from my childhood was when my best friend Ron and I dug an old water heater box out of a trash can. We cut the ends off and discovered that we could get inside and by crawling forward on our hands and knees create what we called a tank but in reality was more like a boy-sized hamster ball. We took great joy in running over our friends. Jumping out of the sides of our tank with our guns (which were probably sticks) and shooting down any unsuspecting enemy soldiers. We were playing in my landlords huge back yard which she never seemed to mind sharing with the neighborhood kids. Her sprinklers were the type that shoot big streams of water with that wonderful chhik-chhik sound and they were on a timer. We were in the middle of the yard when they came on and in our young minds we were under attack as our cardboard tank was hit from all sides. We ran that box around the yard screaming every time a jet of water blasted us until finally the cardboard dissolved around us and we had to make a run for safety where we found Mable and Clarence (my landlords) laughing hysterically. They fed us lemonade and cookies and told us that was the most entertaining thing they had seen in months.
I loved Mable and Clarence. I loved that box. I love that memory. Give your kid a big empty box and some markers and watch what happens.
Maybe something magical.
[Related Post: Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets]
[Image: Captured from http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/11/stick_receives_high_honor.html?CMP=OTC-0D6B48984890]