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Jun
23

Roaring into the Summer with Wikki Stix Dinosaur Activities for Preschool!

Preschoolers are fascinated by DINOSAURS! This summer, help encourage playful learning with Wikki Stix Dinosaur Activities designed just for preschool!

Roaring into the Summer with Wikki Stix Dinosaur Activities for Preschool

Introduction to the Dinosaur Activities:
How do we know that Dinosaurs once lived on our Earth? Scientists have discovered fossils that tell us dinosaurs once lived on our Earth. Explain to the children that fossils are parts of a plant or animal (dinosaur) that are found in rocks or in the ground.

Read the book “What Happened to the Dinosaurs” by B. Most. There are no more dinosaurs left on our Earth because they are EXTINCT (ALL GONE)! Expand on the concept of extinct by asking the following questions. Would a real dinosaur come to your house or to school? Why not? Would a real dinosaur show up at the mall or the grocery store? Why not?

Other questions to explore with the children:
How big were the dinosaurs? Some dinosaurs were bigger than a HOUSE! What did dinosaurs EAT? Some dinosaurs liked to eat MEAT (other animals or smaller/weaker dinosaurs) and some dinosaurs ate only PLANTS. Help the children make a list of the kinds of dinosaurs that were plant-eaters and those that were meat-eaters.

The T-REX (Tyrannosaurus Rex) was called KING of the dinosaurs. He was a meat eater and very strong and fierce. Sing the following action song with the children as they stomp around the room:

Dino Ditty (to the tune of “Do Wah Ditty”)
The T-Rex comes just a stomping down the street singing,
Dino Ditty, Ditty Dum, Ditty Dum;
Looking all around for something good to eat singing,
Dino Ditty, Ditty Dum, Ditty Dum;
He’s HUGE (He’s HUGE – children can echo this part), He’s STRONG (He’s STRONG – children can echo this part);
He’s HUGE, He’s STRONG, he won’t be HUNGRY very long.
Dino Ditty, Ditty Dum, Ditty Dum,
Dino Ditty, Ditty Dum, Ditty Dum, HEY!
~Original Author Unknown

Dinosaur Measuring
Non-Standard Dinosaur Measurement with Wikki Stix

Materials needed: Super Wikki Stix (best for this activity, but standard Wikki Stix can be used), scissors, and an assortment of large and small toy dinosaurs.

Set out the dinosaurs on the floor and have the children sort them by height and length. Which dinosaur is taller, smaller, shorter, or longer? Older children can cut Super Wikki Stix strands that are the length or height of the dinosaurs being used. Younger children may need help in cutting the Wikki Stix at the appropriate lengths. This activity is also a great way for younger and older children to work together in order to complete a task. Who is going to hold the Wikki Stix? Who is going to cut the Wikki Stix?

Extension Activity #1: Make a display board with the strings of various sizes to reinforce the concepts of small/large and/or short and long.

Extension Activity #2: Use regular 4 regular Wikki Stix strands. Cut each strand into four equal sections (fold the Wikki Stix in half and cut two sections – repeat). Invite the children to use the Wikki Stix pieces for non-standard measuring practice. How many pieces of Wikki Stix will it take to measure the length of the dinosaur? How many pieces of Wikki Stix to measure how tall the dinosaur is? If desired, record how long/tall each of the dinosaurs are on a separate sheet of paper.

Wikki Stix Dino Game, Roll Count Create

Download the Dinosaur Roll, Count, and Create Math Game PDF here

Materials needed: Two dice (limit to one die for younger children), one game file (linked above) per child, and green, purple, red, and blue Wikki Stix (pre-cut in half and set aside). To reuse the game: laminate the game file or cover with clear contact paper.

Have the children roll two dice, count the number of dots, and find that number on the game board. The children should say the name of the shape indicated by the number on the board and then CREATE the shape with Wikki Stix to cover that number. The game is over when all the shapes have been created with Wikki Stix. Note: If using two dice, the number ONE will not be covered.
For younger children: Only use one die and focus on only the numbers 1-6 and the corresponding shapes.

Alternate Suggestion: Focus on only ODD or EVEN numbers and have the children create only the shapes that correspond to the ODD rolls or the EVEN rolls.

Dinosaur Footprint Rubbings Craft activity for Kids
Wikki Stix Dinosaur Footprint Rubbings

To make the DIY rubbing plates: have the children trace around a toy dinosaur foot with Wikki Stix (or create their own version of a dinosaur’s footprint) on a blank sheet of paper.

Invite the children to lay another sheet of paper over the Wikki Stix created dinosaur footprints and rub across the sheet with a crayon (take the paper off of a crayon and demonstrate for the children how to make a rubbing by laying the crayon flat against the paper). Note: if the paper tends to slide, put both sheets on a clipboard to make it easier for the children.

Young children think it is almost “magical” to watch the image appear. It’s a fun fine motor craft to do a dinosaur theme.

Help your children ROAR into a summer of playful learning with Wikki Stix and Dinosaurs! The skills they garner will last long after the activities are over!

You might also like the Wikki Stix Dinosaur Fun Kit!

Jun
09

Wikki Stix Patriotic Decorations and a Triple Berry Bread Recipe!

How will your family celebrate Independence Day this July? The Triple Berry Bread is a great choice for family cookouts and gatherings. The bread is moist, filled with summertime berries, and literally melts in your mouth. The Wikki Stix created Patriotic decorations below make the perfect craft for a festive bread presentation on the 4th of July (or any Patriotic holiday)!
Triple Berry Streusel Bread

TRIPLE BERRY BREAD

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
½ c. milk
1 ¼ c. oil
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
½ c. each strawberries (cut and slightly mashed with a fork), blueberries, and raspberries.

There are two topping choices for this bread (both are equally delicious)!
Streusel Topping
½ c. flour
½ c. sugar
4 Tbls. Butter (softened and cut into pieces)

-OR-

TURBINADO SUGAR and CINNAMON (pictured)
1 c. Turbinado Sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set the dry mixture aside. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil together. Add the berries to the mixture. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly blended. Place the mixture into two well-greased and floured 9x5x3” loaf pans. Divide the streusel topping OR the cinnamon/sugar topping between the two unbaked loaves. Bake for 1 hour. Yield: 2 loaves. For smaller loaf pans, bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

WS Patriotic Decorations

Wikki Stix Patriotic Flower and Flag Crafts for Kids
Wikki Stix Flag Toppers

Materials needed: 7 Red Wikki Stix, 6 White Wikki Stix, Blue Wikki Stix, scissors, and clear or white cupcake or appetizer picks.
Explain to the children that the 13 stripes on the American flag represent the original 13 colonies. The United States gained independence from Great Britain on July, 4, 1776. Independence Day is celebrated every July 4th in the United States.

Invite the children to create the flag decorations by placing all supplies out on a table or a tray. The children should alternate the red/white Wikki Stix to make a large rectangle. Cut the larger Wikki Stix rectangle into 3 smaller ones (this will create 3 flags). The children can create the blue area for the flags by cutting one blue Wikki Stix in half. Wrap one-half of the blue Wikki Stix around itself to form a spiral. The children can then mold the spiral shape into a square by flattening four separate sides. Attach the blue squares to the 3 Wikki Stix flags. The Wikki Stix flags will easily adhere to any pick for a festive Patriotic decoration!

Patriotic Flower Craft

Materials needed: Red Wikki Stix, White Wikki Stix, and Blue Wikki Stix.

The petals for the Patriotic flower are created from solid colors of Wikki Stix. To make the petal outlines: fold one strand Wikki Stix in half and pinch the bottom two ends together. Open the Wikki Stix strands to leave a hole in the center. Have the children trace the inside of the petal outline with additional Wikki Stix (see photo above). The children can create as many petals as desired for the flower crafts.
To create the flowers: attach the ends of the petals by pressing the leaves together at a center point. Additional “layers” of leaves can be made on top of the initial petals.

If desired, the children can use Wikki Stix balls or spirals for the flower’s center or create Wikki Stix stars to adorn their flower craft.

Jun
02

Wikki Stix Zoo-Themed Handprint Crafts and Songs for Kids

Do your children like going to the zoo? The Wikki Stix zoo animal handprint crafts and songs below are fun extension activities to do before or after a trip to the zoo! If you don’t have an opportunity to visit a zoo, the handprint crafts and songs will provide hours of fun creativity for kids during the summer! The handprint crafts also make wonderful displays, birthday decorations, basic alphabet letter introduction crafts, or gifts to friends!

Zoo-Themed Handprint Crafts and Songs for Kids

Wikki Stix Zebra Handprint Craft
Materials needed: Assorted Wikki Stix (Zebras are black and white, but some children like to be creative and make their zebras from amazing colors), white paper, scissors, pencil, and a child’s hand.

Invite the children to trace their handprint with the non-dominant hand onto a piece of white paper (younger children will need assistance in tracing their hand). Set out assorted colors of Wikki Stix and invite the children to create! The handprint can be traced with any color of Wikki Stix and filled in by using additional Wikki Stix inside the original tracing lines.

The zebra’s markings can be made using a separate color of Wikki Stix. The children can cut Wikki Stix with safety scissors, but younger children may need assistance. Additional features that can be created: eyes (from white/black Wikki Stix spirals), markings, mane, tail, and hooves. There is no right or wrong way to create with Wikki Stix. Each of the children will create a different zebra that will be as unique as the markings on a zebra they might find at the zoo! Note: For younger children, it may be helpful to print the zebra photo to give them a visual of the various features they might design.

Zebra Song to Accompany the Handprint Craft
I’m a Little Zebra (to the tune: “I’m a Little Teapot”)

I’m a little zebra all white and black (or substitute other colors the children know).
With a fluffy mane running down my back
I like to run and eat the hay
Out in the zoo on a summer’s day!
~Original Author Unknown

Zoo-Themed Handprint Giraffe Crafts for Kids

Wikki Stix Handprint Giraffe Craft

Materials needed: Gold or Yellow Wikki Stix, Brown Wikki Stix, scissors, white paper, pencil, and a child’s hand.

The Giraffe handprint is a downward facing handprint with the thumb and pinky fingers sticking out to the sides. Younger children will require assistance in tracing their handprint and keeping the 3 fingers together. Older children can trace the handprint with their non-dominant hand.

Invite the children to use gold or yellow Wikki Stix to trace the handprint (Note: Super Wikki Stix is great for handprint crafts). The children can fill in the remainder of the handprint with gold/yellow Wikki Stix by placing the Wikki Stix inside of the original tracing lines. When the giraffe is completely filled in with Wikki Stix, the children can cut small brown pieces of Wikki Stix and make ball or spirals for the giraffe’s markings.

The ears of the giraffe are made by folding the pinky finger and thumb parts of the craft upward. Brown Wikki Stix can be cut and used inside of the ears (see photo above).

Additional features can be added with Wikki Stix: the ossicones (horn-like features on a giraffe’s head) can be created with brown Wikki Stix and the eyes are created from small white/black Wikki Stix spirals.

Song to accompany the Giraffe Handprint Craft
What Can a Giraffe See Way Up High? (to the tune: “Skip to My Lou”)
What can a giraffe see way up high?
What can a giraffe see way up high?
What can a giraffe see way up high?
He can see a MONKEY way up high!!
~Original Author Unknown

EXTENSIONS TO SING:
What can an Elephant do with his trunk?

What can a seal see underwater?

What OTHER zoo animals can your children come up with?

Alligator Crafts for kids

Wikki Stix Handprint Alligator Craft

Materials needed: Assorted green Wikki Stix (dark and light green), red Wikki Stix, Black Wikki Stix, white paper, a pencil and a child’s hand.

The handprint for the alligator requires some fine motor control and practice. Younger children will require assistance to trace the handprint. Have the children practice bending the top of their thumb (this will make the head portion of the alligator). Let the children practice several times. To make the alligator’s mouth, the children should separate the second and third fingers slightly so the alligator’s mouth appears open. Again, it takes practice to open those fingers. Help the children trace the handprint on a plain sheet of white heavy paper. After tracing, the children can outline the handprint with the green Wikki Stix.

Invite the children to fill in the alligator by following the original tracing lines with Wikki Stix. The children can made a red spiral by wrapping one strand of Wikki Stix around itself for the alligator’s eye. The iris can be made from a small piece of Wikki Stix formed into a ball.

ALLIGATOR ACTION SONG – have the children place their Wikki Stix created alligators on top of a craft stick and sneak around the room opening/closing their arms in a chomping motion.
Did You Ever See an Alligator? (to the tune: “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”)
Did you ever see an alligator? An Alligator? An Alligator?
Did you ever see an alligator CHOMP this way and that?
CHOMP this way, CHOMP that way;
CHOMP this way, CHOMP that way;
Did you ever see an alligator CHOMP this way and that?
~Original Author Unknown

The zoo-themed handprint crafts will encourage learning and creativity this summer! What other zoo-themed handprint crafts could your kids design with Wikki Stix? Some suggestions might include: elephants, lions, tigers, and birds! We’d love to see the designs your children create with Wikki Stix this summer! You can post them to our Facebook page and we will share with others!

May
27

Wikki Stix Sea Turtle Life Cycle for Kids!

Wikki Stix Sea Turtle Life Cycle for Kids!

Studying marine life is exciting for kids! Research tells us that kids who are exposed to nature and its inhabitants have a greater chance at becoming responsible adults who care for our Earth and its creatures. This summer, discover and explore the magnificent sea turtle with a Wikki Stix created version of the sea turtle’s life cycle.

Sea Turtle Paper Plate Craft

WIKKI STIX PAPER PLATE SEA TURTLE LIFE CYCLE CRAFT
Sea Turtle Life Cycle Labels

Materials needed: Assorted Wikki Stix (various sea turtles have different colorings: green, yellow, brown, reddish, or black in color), scissors, sea turtle labels (linked above), and one paper plate per craft.
Discuss with the children the 4 basic stages of a sea turtle’s life cycle:

  1. EGGS – The sea turtle lays her eggs at night. The female sea turtle leaves the ocean to dig a hole in the sand away from the edge of the water. In the nest, a female sea turtle lays about 100 eggs (on average). After the eggs are laid, the mother uses her front and back flippers to cover the eggs to protect them.
  2. HATCHLINGS – The sea turtle hatchlings come out of their shell after approximately 6-12 weeks in the sand (depending on the species of turtle). The hatchlings dig their way to the top of the sand and quickly head to deeper water in the ocean.
  3. YOUNG or JUVENILE SEA TURTLES – Young sea turtles have an initial growing phase of up to 10 years. While they are growing, the young sea turtles eat plankton, jellyfish and fish eggs. Young turtles stay in the deep ocean waters until they join other turtles near the coastline to continue growing.
  4. ADULT SEA TURTLES – Sea Turtles make their home near the coastlines of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Sea Turtles can live to be 100 years old and some species grow to be over 3 feet long.

Give each child a paper plate and invite them to divide the paper plate into four sections by placing one Wikki Stix vertically across the center of the plate and one Wikki Stix horizontally down the middle (see photo above).

In the upper left hand corner, have the children use brown Wikki Stix to make “sand” and place small white Wikki Stix balls (or pieces) to resemble the sea turtle’s eggs on top of the sand. Have the children place the EGGS label inside this section.

In the upper right hand corner, invite the children to create the hatchling. Remember there is no wrong or right way to create with Wikki Stix. Children may wish to make a green ball for the sea turtle’s head and a white ball for the turtle’s egg shell. Older children may wish to make the sea turtle’s front flippers coming slightly out of the shell. The HATCHLING label goes in this section.

Young Sea Turtle

Young Sea Turtle Life Cycle

In the lower right corner, the children can create a young sea turtle.

For a basic sea turtle design, have the children roll a small green Wikki Stix ball for the turtle’s head. The sea turtle’s neck can be formed by wrapping a green/yellow Wikki Stix around a pinky finger/pencil and pulling it off to create a tight coil. The shell for the turtle can be made by wrapping 2-3 green Wikki Stix around itself to form a spiral. The front flippers are created with one Wikki Stix cut in half. Each half is then shaped to resemble a flipper and attached to the spiraled turtle shell. The back flippers are made from half of a green Wikki Stix: fold each end toward the center as indicated by the photo above. The children may desire to add two black eyes, a mouth, or fill in the flippers with additional Wikki Stix. The YOUNG/JUVENILE label should be placed in this section.

In the lower left corner of the plate, invite the children to use white Wikki Stix to create a shell pattern on the basic turtle design. Scientists can identify different species of turtles by the patterns presented on the sea turtle’s shell. The ADULT label can be placed in this final section of the life cycle craft.

Remind the children that the sea turtle’s life cycle repeats itself. As the sea turtle matures, the female lays more eggs and the cycle begins anew.
Wikki Stix Sea Turtle Screenshot
SEA TURTLE LIFE CYCLE SEQUENCING CARDS
Download WS Sea Turtle Sequencing Cards PDF here

Extension Activity: Have the children cut out the sequencing cards (linked above) and place the cards in the appropriate life cycle order.

Wikki Stix Sea Turtle Life Cycle for Kids!

After the four basic Wikki Stix sea turtle models are created, invite the children to explore and play with their turtle creations in a sensory bin!

Materials needed: One large plastic bin or drawer, real or commercial sand (if desired, white sugar or salt will work for the sand), the 4 Wikki Stix sea turtle life cycle creations (eggs, hatchling, young turtle, and adult turtle), and “water” (place blue hair gel inside a gallon size plastic bag and seal the opening with duct tape). If desired, other items can be added to the bin – suggestions might include: other Wikki Stix created ocean items (coral, algae, fish, etc.), real or pretend shells, magnifying glasses, ocean-themed small toys, and a small shovel, rake, or spoon.

The children will have hours of fun using their imaginations in the sensory bin: laying the Wikki Stix eggs in the sand, pretending their turtle eggs are hatching, leading their young turtles to deeper water, and bringing mama turtle out of the water to lay more eggs in the sand.

Sea Turtles are on the endangered list due to environmental and human threats:
• predators to the nest (raccoons, dogs, humans, ants, crabs, and/or sea birds)
• sea turtles can get caught in fishing lines from boats
• poaching and illegal sale of sea turtle eggs, shells, or turtle meat
• pollution in the water or debris/litter from humans

Additional Resources for Sea Turtles:
www.seaturtle.org/
www.seaturtlehospital.org/
www.follyturtles.com/
www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/turtles/lights.htm

Additional Wikki Stix Ocean Activities:
Ocean Diorama, Fish Math, and Fish Template
Counting Crabs, Sensory Bags
5 Little Fishes – a Counting Rhyme

May
19

Wikki Stix Ocean-themed Activities for Kids!

Wikki Stix Ocean-themed Activities for Kids!
A trip to the ocean is certainly filled with wonder and excitement for children! The Wikki Stix ocean-themed activities below are great extension ideas to use at home after a trip to the ocean or for creating and learning when a trip to the ocean isn’t possible. Kids will love creating the diorama, learning with fishy math, and making fish crafts to accompany ocean stories!

WS Ocean Diorama

Wikki Stix 3-D Ocean Diorama
The ocean diorama is a miniature “shoe-box” theater to encourage young kids to create and play with an ocean theme!

Materials needed: one shoe box per craft, tape, wrapping paper or tissue paper, assorted colors of Wikki Stix, assorted ocean pictures from magazines, and a sharp knife (adult only).

Invite the children to completely cover the shoe box with wrapping paper or tissue paper. Have the children tear or cut ocean-themed pictures from an old magazine to decorate the inside of the box.
Creating the fish: Set out assorted colors of Wikki Stix on a table. Invite the children to create any kind of fish desired. Younger children may wish to make a simple fish design: have the children form and “X” from the two ends of each Wikki Stix strand. Fold the two ends toward the center to complete the fish (see photo above). The children can fill in the basic design with additional Wikki Stix and add black eyes or other fish features, if desired.

Ocean Activities for Kids

To make the fish MOVE: On the top of the shoe box, cut 3 sides of a rectangular shape and tear or cut away any loose wrapping paper. Lift the remaining cardboard flap. Insert one strand of Wikki Stix through the rectangle and attach the Wikki Stix created fish to the bottom of that strand. As the children play, they can dangle and move the fish along the rectangular path (similar to making a puppet show). After playing, the children can attach the Wikki Stix strand to the cardboard flap for later use.

Additional objects for the diorama: the children can create any additional objects for the diorama with Wikki Stix as desired. Some suggestions might be: fish, crabs, jelly fish, seaweed, sharks, and coral.

Fish Math and Oxygen Bubbles

Wikki Stix “Fishy” Math – One-to-One Correspondence
One-to-One Correspondence is the knowledge that a certain number relates to a specific quantity of objects. The goal is to help young children gain confidence not only with number recognition, but to help them move beyond just recognition and toward the question: How many items make up any specific number?

Materials needed: Wikki Stix, scissors, and one sheet of white paper per child.

Invite the children to create the fish by setting the Wikki Stix out on a tray or at a table. The fish for the math game can be made in the same manner as the fish for the diorama (instructions above).
Place any Wikki Stix created number on the fish. The children can cut small pieces of Wikki Stix to create the number of oxygen bubbles that correspond to the number indicated by the fish (see photo above). Note: Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children may need assistance with cutting (or pieces can be cut prior to doing the activity).

Other “FISHY” learning suggestions:
Literacy: created Wikki Stix letters to place on the fish. The children can match two uppercase letters to form a pair or match an uppercase letter to the lowercase letter. By creating the letters with Wikki Stix, children will gain the extra tactile layer that enhances learning. Older children can create sight words, word families, or other words that have been introduced.

Commotion in the Ocean Craft for Kids

Wikki Stix Fish Creations
Download the Fish Template PDF Here

Materials needed: One fish template (linked above) and assorted colors of Wikki Stix.

Print the fish template(s) and laminate or cover with clear contact paper. The children can use the fish template to create any color of fish desired. Invite the children to trace the fish outline with Wikki Stix. Once the outline is complete, the children can use assorted colors of Wikki Stix to fill in and decorate their fish. The fish creations can then be “lifted” from the template and used as a display craft at home or in the classroom.

The Wikki Stix fish crafts are fun to create as extensions to ocean-themed books. Below are a few suggested titles that your children will enjoy as they learn and play with the ocean-themed Wikki Stix crafts:

  • Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
  • Dolphins (Animals That Live in the Ocean) by Valerie Weber
  • Down in the Deep, Deep Ocean! by Joann Cleland
  • Eye Wonder: Ocean by Mary Ling and Sue Thornton
  • Gone Fishing: Ocean Life by the Numbers by David McLimans
  • How Many Fish in the Sea?: A Book about Oceans by Tagliaferro
  • I Am a Sea Horse by Speed Shaskan
  • I’m The Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
  • In Sea Star Ocean by Elizabeth Gatt
  • In the Ocean by Brighter Child
  • Into The A, B, Sea: An Ocean Alphabet Book by Deborah Lee Rose

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Counting Crabs, Sensory Bags, and Summer Learning Crafts
5 Little Fishes Created Counting Rhyme for Literacy
Free Counting Mats for One-to-One Correspondence Practice

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