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Mar
13

Touch Math: Multiplication

We continue our Touch Math series with a creative lesson in Touch Math Multiplication. First, we created laminated number sheets using 5 mil lamination. There are numerous benefits gained from using laminated numbers:

  1. The sheets can be used lesson after lesson, saving paper
  2. The lamination is easily wiped down, reducing germs
  3. Wikki Stix can be placed and moved, as needed, minimizing student stress

Next, we used Wikki Stix to generate the touchpoints needed on each top numeral. Note: If mistakes are made, and the touchpoints are placed incorrectly, encourage the student to peel the Wikki Stix from the laminate and re-position the points in the correct location. The versatility of our product makes our line perfect for use in any classroom, including special education environments. Mistakes may be made, however, they are easily fixed!

Touch Math Multiplication

Directions for multiplying by three: Students will place the touchpoints in the proper location. They will then touch each point on the first numeral while skip counting by three. When multiplying by two, skip count by twos. When multiplying by four, skip count by four – and so on.

When your student has completed the assignment simply stack the laminated number sheets and gather up the Wikki Stix. Save all of your materials for future use. You do not need to throw anything away.

Watch below to learn more about TouchMath Multiplication:

Previous posts in our Touch Math series:
Touch Math Counting
Touch Math Addition
To purchase Wikki Stix for use with your Touch Math curriculum, visit our Educational Products Page

Mar
12

Wikki Stix Spring and Easter Learning Crafts for Young Kids!

With the arrival of spring and Easter just around the corner, it is a fun time for young kids to create and learn with Wikki Stix!

5 Little Easter Eggs Poem

5 Little Easter Eggs – a created poem for young kids
Download the PDF Here

Print the poem for the children and read several times. If desired, an adult and child can alternate turns reading the lines for each of the Easter Eggs or the children can take turns reading if doing the activity with a group of children.

5 Little Easter Eggs
There were 5 Little Easter Eggs in a basket all alone.
They were waiting for the Easter Bunny to come and take them home!
The 1st one said, “I LOVE my purple dye!”
The 2nd one said, “I’m pink and almost dry!”
The 3rd one said, “Do you see the Bunny yet?”
The 4th one said, “He’ll soon be here, I’ll bet!”
The 5th one said, “I SEE him hopping, OH MY!”
Then the 5 little eggs watched the BUNNY hop with PRIDE!
He took the eggs and basket on a hippity, hoppity, ride!

When the children are familiar with the poem, extend the reading by making Wikki Stix Easter Eggs to hold up when the lines of the poem are read.

Materials needed: Pink and Purple Wikki Stix (plus assorted colors for the decorations), scissors, and craft sticks/straws

To make the Easter Eggs: Invite the children to craft by setting out the Wikki Stix, scissors, and the straws or craft sticks. Using one Wikki Stix at a time, have the children wrap the Wikki Stix around itself to make a circular shape (spiral). Each Easter Egg uses 3 strands of Wikki Stix wrapped around itself (see photo above). When the spirals are finished, invite the children to mold the top of the circle to resemble an egg shape. The children can decorate their eggs by cutting smaller pieces of Wikki Stix with scissors and making patterns on the eggs. (Please note – Wikki Stix can be cut with safety scissors, but younger children may require assistance).

Place each of the Wikki Stix created eggs on top of a straw or craft stick. The children can then hold up one egg at a time as the poem is read.

Egg Patterning Easter Crafts for Kids

Wikki Stix Easter Egg Patterns
Download the PDF Here

Materials needed: One printable (linked above) for each child, scissors, and assorted colors of Wikki Stix.

Print page 3 of the Easter Egg Patterns file and laminate for durability (if laminating supplies are not available, clear contact paper works well). Cut out the larger Easter Eggs and invite the children to create Easter Eggs designs with Wikki Stix. Adults can also create designs for younger children to see if the children can copy/transfer the same designs to their own eggs using Wikki Stix. Older children can create designs independently.

The smaller eggs in the Easter Egg Patterns file can be cut out, laminated, and numbered with any numbers the children are working on or have had introduced. Invite the children to use Wikki Stix to create the numbers on their own eggs. The addition of the tactile sensory layer will help the children with basic number recognition. The children can also use the different colored eggs in the file to make basic Easter Egg patterns: AB, ABC, AABB, AABBCC, etc. Cut out each of the colored eggs and invite the children to make a repeating pattern with the eggs. For an AB pattern, the children would use two colors of eggs.

EXAMPLE: GREEN/PINK/GREEN/PINK/GREEN/PINK would make a repeating AB pattern.

Spring Crafts for Kids

For MORE spring learning and crafting, the Wikki Stix Spring Tissue Paper Tree, Bluebirds Craft, and Flower Button Math Craft can be viewed here.

We wish you a delightful season of creating and learning this spring with Wikki Stix!

Feb
27

Beyond Memorization: Activities to Promote Critical Thinking with Wikki Stix!

Critical thinking skills are an important part of successful growth and learning for children. When kids are given an environment that allows them to observe, experiment, inquire, design, and think about their world, they will begin the journey toward the development of independent problem solving skills.

By using Wikki Stix to help build important skills, the children will benefit from a multi-sensory approach to critical thinking that expands learning beyond basic facts and toward the application of knowledge outside of the classroom or home.

Wikki Stix Circles
Wikki Stix Circles

Download the PDF Here

Materials needed: one Wikki Stix Circles printable (linked above), scissors, and assorted colors of Wikki Stix.

Set out assorted colors of Wikki Stix on a tray, at a center, or on a table. Cut the individual rows apart in the file and laminate for durability. Discuss with the children what colors are used to make the circles in each of the two boxes. Ask if the children can identify what colored circles are the same/different between the two boxes? Invite the children to use the Wikki Stix to trace around the circles in each box that are the same (or different) than the colors in the second box. The extra sensory layer provided by using the Wikki Stix will help cement the concepts of same/different as the children play and create the colored circles.

Wikki Stix Circles for Early Childhood Education

There are blank boxes at the end of the file. Invite the children to create designs using only Wikki Stix circles. Leave the play activity open-ended so the children can employ critical thinking skills in constructing their designs. **Note – use a larger blank sheet of paper and have the children work in small groups. Asking children to work together allows each child to gain knowledge from peers (or other family members).

Have the children share their Wikki Stix circle designs. Help the children build vocabulary skills and encourage discussion by asking open-ended questions about each of the designs. For example: Why did you decide to make the caterpillar? How did you know what a caterpillar looked like? Can you describe how you made the design?

Line Design for Early Childhood Education for Critical Thinking
Line Designs for Critical Thinking

Materials needed: Assorted Colors of Wikki Stix cut into various lengths and a tray or table for the children to construct designs.

This activity is an open-ended activity that compels the children to imagine various objects/shapes/designs that they can construct using only lines.

Line Design for Preschool Education

We used a painter’s palette to hold the different colors of Wikki Stix. The space in the middle of the palette worked well for creating. If available, use a digital camera and allow the children to take photos of their creations. Print the photos and have the children share or write about what they designed. In the photo above, a five year old created an “Indian feather.” This summer, the child’s family had a chance to visit North Dakota. The child loved looking at all of the artifacts and chose to use his lines to create a feather!:) As educators, it is amazing to learn about children and the reasons why they choose to create! The photos can also be used to make a picture book for the children to “read” and tell their own stories to accompany each photograph.

Spiral Design for early childhood education

Download the Wikki Stix Spirals PDF here

Critical Thinking: How to make Wikki Stix Spirals

Materials needed: assorted straight objects that the children might choose to make a Wikki Stix spiral, assorted colors of Wikki Stix, and scissors, if desired.
Make a tray or center area from the assorted Wikki Stix and objects to make the spirals.
Brainstorm possible ways to make a spiral from one strand of Wikki Stix with the children. For ex: a spiral can be made by wrapping the Wikki Stix around a finger, a pencil, a crayon, a marker, a glue stick, or other round objects. There are various ways to make a spiral and some objects work better than others. The Wikki Stix will adhere to some surfaces making it more difficult to remove.

Allow the children to experiment with different ways to create a spiral. It is great fine motor work, but also allows the children to really THINK about creating and what is working or not.

Come together after experimentation to allow time for discussion. There is no right way to create a spiral, but there are ways that work better. Ask the children how they discovered their “solutions” to creating a spiral. Ask the children why they think that some objects worked better than the others. It is a FUN way for the children to create, experiment, and form solutions to a problem with open-ended play.

**Note: The pdf file can be printed for the children to create different patterns using their created spirals and lines/circles. Some examples of designs have been given if the children would like to try re-creating those first. There are blank boxes at the end of the file for the children to create any designs desired.

Open-ended play with Wikki Stix can lead the children to discover basic facts, but it also allows them the opportunity to garner important critical thinking skills. As we invite our children to explore, inquire, share, and apply what they learn, we can help guide them to present and future success!

Feb
26

Wikki Stix Wall People

What do you get when you mix four bored children with a box of Wikki Stix? You get Wikki Stix Wall People, of course! These four children decided to work as a team in order to create Wikki Stix characters on an entry-wall wall. The kids (in their own words) created a 5 year old boy, a 5 year old girl, a teenager, and a mom.

The children spent about an hour and a half on the project, each working on their own character while helping one another when needed.

They made up stories about the Wikki Stix People:

  • They named the five year old boy Jack and said, “He is very tall.”
  • They named the five year old girl Terrah and said “She has a heart and a cross over her head. The cross represents God.”
  • The mom character is “very happy.”
  • The teenage character has a bubble over his head and he is thinking, “Boy, these other kids have gotten so big!”

Next time your kiddos say, “I’m so bored!” pull out the Wikki Stix and let the creativity and storytelling begin.

Wikki Stix momWikki Stix girlWikki Stix teenager

Wikki Stix characters

Wikki Stix boy

Four kids decorating with Wikki Stix

Feb
20

Wikki Stix for Occupational Therapy

Are you an Occupational Therapist? Wikki Stix can be used in therapy with both children and adults. Wikki Stix manipulatives are perfect for teaching handwriting skills, for visual discrimination, for use as fidget tools or during kinesthetic learning activities, as a psychosocial tool, and more.
Wikki Stix for Occupational Therapy
Visit our Occupational Therapy page to learn about our Made in the USA product line.

Ros, an Arizona mom, recently shared her daughter’s artwork with us. Her daughter created the heart craft during an occupational therapy session. Ros shares:

“My daughter had fun using Wikki Sticks to create her Valentine’s project with Taylor, her occupational therapist. Taylor shared with me that she uses Wikki Stix with her clients as a tool. She loves working with them because they’re easy to use, no mess, safe, and just so much fun!”

Here are a few great options for Occupational Therapists:

Basic Shapes Kit
Alphabet Cards
Create-A-Card Fun Kit
Classroom Packs
Educational Resource Manual
Play Mat
Student Board Set

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