As a Mom and Educator I am always trying to find new and exciting ways to make learning fun. With two preschool aged Lil Divas - we spend a great deal of time learning the basics - ABC's,123's, shapes and colors, etc..
This can get boring quickly if you don't find ways to change up the routine. Of course finding new and exciting ways to learns letters, numbers and shapes can also either be costly (investing in materials, games, etc) or messy (using paint, shaving cream and play-doh to name a few options).
I was excited when I came across Wikki Stix. Wikki Stix are made of hand-knitting yarn enhanced with a microcrystalline food-grade, non-toxic wax (as used in bubble gum and lipstick). They stick together without using glue, tape, etc. You just press them down with a bit of pressure and they will adhere to almost any smooth surface.
Here was a fun, cost effective, no mess and creative way to learn letters, numbers and shapes in a tactile way. I was excited to be given the opportunity to review both the Alphabet Cards and the Basic Shapes Kit with the Lil Divas.
The Basic Shapes Kit includes ten individual shape cards in connect-the-dot form (see below), 72 Wikki Stix in various colors, a fold-out sheet showing a variety of creative ways to combine shapes and 2 extra workboards.
The Alphabet Cards Kit has an individual card for each letter of the alphabet which depicts the letter formation and has a fun illustration and corresponding letter word. See below examples for card examples of Aa - Ant and Nn needle. The kit includes 36 Wikki Stix in various colors.
Overall, the WikKi Stix were very easy to use. They are easy to bend and simple to apply - just use a little pressure to stick them to the cards or to each other. They were also easy to peel up and reposition. The Lil Divas have enjoyed the implementation of using the cards in our learning themes but they have also enjoyed countless time just creating and playing with them. The Littlest Diva is especially fond of creating butterflies and flowers whenever the opportunity arises. I love the imaginative and creative possibilities that can be inspired with the Wikki Stix.
I especially liked that there was no preparation required to use them. I simply took them out of the box and the Lil Divas got to work picking colors and bending away. Another huge plus to working with Wikki Stix was that there was no mess involved and clean-up was super easy - we stuck them back onto the paper they came in, I put them into a ziplock baggie for easy storage/keeping and put everything back into the original box. The Lil Divas had no trouble taking them out & putting them away all by themselves and the boxes take up very little room. This is important in a house like ours where toys tend to pile up.
There was a tiny bit of residue on the cards after a while but it did not impede in their usage and Wikki Stix do not stain. I think it's just from the pressing of the sticks onto the cards.
Another thing I feel I must mention is that Wikki Stix do not break or tear apart.They have to be cut with scissors so that aspect will require supervision if your child will be doing more than just bending in their creating. We did not cut ours apart - they Lil Divas were creative in their bending so we never had to.
Be sure to check out the Wikki Stix website. They have a number of wonderful learning toys and products that can be used at home (for fun or learning), for parties (party favor sets are available) within an educational/school setting (they do sell school bulk sets) or even at church (they also offer bible & religious holiday resources). They have many fun holiday themed sets, learning kits and I even saw some really cuite Curious George kits.
Have you used Wikki Stix before? What was your experience?