Inside Wikki Stix February 23 2010

If you've never heard of Wikki Stix, then you've never used them. And if you've never used them, you've been missing out!

It turns out that Wikki Stix are a lot of fun for use at home or in the classroom.

What Are Wikki Stix?

Manufactured by Omnicor, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, Wikki Stix are made of an acrylic yarn covered in a patented wax formula. They are non-toxic and reusable, even able to survive a trip or two through the washer and dryer. They stick to any surface, but don't leave a residue.

Wikki Stix are proudly made in the United States, and meet the U.S. CPSIA requirements for safety. They perform better than inferior competitor products, stick better to surfaces, and are easier to use. They are soft and pliable, making it easy for little hands to use them to play, create and learn.

What's So Good About Them?

There are many reasons why Wikki Stix have won a variety of awards from parent and professional organizations. There are countless uses for this product both inside and outside the classroom, and several advantages to using them:

  • No preparation required
  • Easy to store
  • Convenient to transport
  • No mess and no clean up
  • Open-ended, so they work across the curriculum
  • Hands-on learning for kinesthetic, visual or spatial learning styles
  • Opportunities for creative play

Wikki Stix also happen to be useful in a variety of unusual ways. The President and Owner of The Wikki Stix Company, Kem Clark, has used them as a temporary fix for her broken glasses as well as for her car. On a trip back from San Diego, Clark's bumper came loose, so she "wikkied" it together, making the trip safely home!

Where Did They Come From?

Wikki Stix were invented over twenty years ago in Chicago by Hal Press. Clark saw limitless applications and bought the patent from the inventor.

My burning question about Wikki Stix was the product's name. What does it mean? "Absolutely nothing," said Clark. "At first, the inventor named the product 'sticky wicky.' I decided to switch the words and came up with 'Wikki Stix'!"

How Can I Get Them? And Use Them?

Another great thing about Wikki Stix is how easy they are to use. There are a few helpful packages that you can simply open and then have kids get to work. My favorites are the Wikki Stix Activity Set, the Wikki Stix Numbers and Counting Cards, and the Wikki Stix Alphabet Set. Use them for small group or individual intervention or at a Learning Center for practice and review.

If you're looking for projects with more of a creative flair but don't know where to start, Carol Brooke has posts with a variety of different lesson plans. Here is her Rainforest lesson plan that combines Wikki Stix, writing and science. Included in this post are different ways to manipulate the Wikki Stix as well as pdf templates to download and photocopy for your students. If you're looking for an easy math activity, Carol's free Clock Template uses Wikki Stix to help kids tell learn to tell time using both analog and digital formats. If you're looking for a craft, here's an easy way to use Wikki Stix to create a Dreamcatcher!

What's Next?

The Wikki Stix staff strive to come up with new and creative ideas and uses. The Wikki Stix Facebook page has a picture of an unusual work of art - a skateboard - created by one of their fans. You can also get in on the fun by submitting photos of your own creations as well as making a Wikki look-alike and submitting pictures of it in different locations - the more unusual, the better!

"We play around with them," said Clark, which is probably how they came up with glow in the dark wiki stix, three-foot-long Super Wikis, and a new “Rainy Day Play” kit for the upcoming summer travel season.

Wikki Stix are popular with a variety of people, including occupational therapists, teachers of all levels, and parents. "We're tremendously proud of the product," said Clark. "I'm happy to make a product that does so much for so many people."