Friday, November 8, 2013

What are Wikki Stix?

One of the best things about being a teacher is seeing students manipulate classroom materials in creative and inventive ways. This week our fine motor skills were exercised through play with Wikki Stix. Wikki Stix are made of hand-knitting yarn enhanced with non-toxic wax. They work simply by pressing them to a surface or to each other. They are easy to peel up and reposition so “mistakes” virtually disappear, which helps build self-confidence. There is no preparation, no clean-up, no mess.

I first offered the stix alone on a tray, this way the focus for the first day was to experiment with the texture and possibilities of use. Then I added alphabet cards to the table and we practiced making letters on the cards. At the end of the week I added another element, shape stencils. Although these prompts were fun ways to get kids playing, the neatest creations were organic, individual designs like people, houses, keys, and jewelry.

 Practical Life Activities

Children are very interested in learning to do what adults do. They pattern their actions after ours- dressing, preparing food, cleaning up, shopping, talking to others- these everyday routines are fascinating to children. They desire to imitate and master the same activities that they observe. Offering real nuts and bolts (versus plastic or pretend objects) gives students a chance to master fine motor skills like eye hand coordination as well as visual discrimination and matching (math skills.)

One more thing, we're having a blast in PreK!

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