28 October 2008

Wikki Stix Activity Ideas

What are Wikki Stix?
Wikki Stix are waxy sticks which look a bit like pipe-cleaners. They are made from a combination of a strand of acrylic, hand-knitting yarn and a microcrystalline, food-grade, non-toxic wax. Wikki Stix stick to smooth surfaces (like the Wikki Stick boards included in the Activity pack or onto white boards) and to each other. They are a colourful, tactile, sensory and engaging product that can be used in many different ways.

Who can use Wikki Stix?
Wikki Stix can be used by children and adults alike. Their non-toxic nature means that they are safe even for children who may try to eat them however their use should be supervised. Wikki Stix are also great for children with various disabilities – they are fun for children to manipulate and can be used to help children develop their fine motor skills, their clean mouldable nature makes them an ideal ‘fidget’ toy and their ability to make 3D pictures makes them a great resource for children with sight difficulties.

How to use Wikki Stix
There are endless uses for Wikki Stix so use your imagination to see what you can create however we have included some ideas here:

During pre-writing activities, Wikki Stix can be used to create patterns and mazes to draw between. They can also be used make raised edges to colouring pictures to make colouring inside the lines easier. In handwriting exercises, Wikki Stix can be used to make a raised border margin to show where to start and stop on the edges of the paper, or to make raised lines to prompt letter placement and size. Wikki Stix can also be used to create boxes to write letters / numbers within. Different colour Wikki Stix can be also used to add prompts of where to start and where to stop. Wrapping a Wikki Stix around the base of a pencil can also be used as a grip and a reminder of how to hold the pencil. Placing a Wikki Stix under the top of the paper will help prevent slippage during writing and drawing activities.

Wikki Stix are also good for kinaesthetic learning activities. Once patterns / letter and numbers have been created they can be traced with the finger to practice the formation. A fun game is to try to identify letters, numbers or shapes by touch alone.

Playing with Wikki Stix can help develop a range of creative skills. They can be moulded to form shapes, letters, numbers and pictures. As they are easy to peel up and reposition modelling with Wikki Stix is virtually ‘mistake-free’ which helps build self-esteem. Wikki Stix are a quiet and creative fidget tool, providing a calming effect which may help children better focus on classroom activities. Wikki Stix may help generate verbal interaction, as children create while using them. This may also be helpful in the development of social skills, through tactilely engaging play.

In literacy activities, Wikki Stix can be used to highlight parts of words or a sentence. A Wikki Stix cut into shorter lengths can be used to show the division of words into syllables. Different colours of Wikki Stix can be used to code types of words in a sentence for example red = adjectives, blue = nouns and green = verbs or divisions of compound words. Wikki Stix can be used to loop or underline responses for example; words that rhyme, have a certain ending or include certain sounds.

In numeracy activities, Wikki Stix can be used to teach concepts of long and short, as well as maths symbols. They can be used as counters, to demonstrate place value and also for patterning and sequencing.
Wikki Stix can also be used to improve independence and self-help skills. Wikki Stix can outline the area where an item should be placed, for example a cup on the table or toothbrush on the shelf. A Wikki Stix threaded through the hole on a zip and twisted makes it easier to pull up and down with the Wikki to hold onto improving independent dressing skills.

Buy Wikki Stix!
Wikki Stix are part of a range of Fine Motor Activities available from Littlesheep Learning.


Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Thanks for this great list! We just recently bought some wikki stix and my son loves them, but I was having trouble coming up with ideas of how to use them. I love the dot-to-dot idea and identifying letters or numbers (or shapes) by feel alone!

Jen said...

We did a fun solar system project with Wikki Stix and the children's book Planetary Personalities. You can see a step by step video on the blog www.shoddyshirtbooks.blogspot.com.