Young kids are kinesthetic learners – they love to explore and experiment with the sense of touch. Kids will grow and develop at an individual pace, but allowing many opportunities to read and PLAY with letters will immerse kids in a literacy rich environment. Come explore all the ways Wikki Stix can enhance learning through sensory and hands-on PLAY!

Kinesthetic ABC and Word Play Activities for Young Kids!

Kinesthetic ABC and Word Play Activities for Young Kids!

With Wikki Stix, young kids learn through tactile sensory play.  Try the suggestions below to get your own kids thinking, creating, and learning all year through.

Wikki Stix Letter Formations

Kids can create any uppercase alphabet letter with just a few simple Wikki Stix tricks.

Materials needed:

  • Wikki Stix
  • Scissors
  • Construction Paper

Directions:

  • Capital letters can be formed with whole Wikki Stix, smaller cut straight pieces, large half circles, and smaller half circles. Invite the kids to cut 4-5 Wikki Stix into halves or fourths before creating any letter(s).  Wikki Stix can be easily cut with safety scissors.
  • On a tray, table, or piece of construction paper, invite the kids to create uppercase letters they know or the letters of their name.

Extension Activity – Tactile Textured Alphabet Cards

As the kids finish creating the Wikki Stix letters, scavenger hunt around the house or classroom for various textures the kids can press onto the Wikki Stix letter formations.  Wikki Stix is tacky and items will adhere to the letters without the need for glue or tape.  Suggestions of items might include:  rolled aluminum foil, pompoms, sand, confetti, buttons or beads, fabric or paper scraps.  Adding textures to the alphabet creations will add yet another sensory layer for learning letter formations.

Tactile Letter Formation

Letter Formation

Tactile Textured Alphabet Cards

Wikki Stix and Alphabet Bead Literacy Activities

Threading letter beads onto Wikki Stix will not only enhance letter recognition, but it is a great fine motor activity to encourage strength and control.

Materials needed:

  • Alphabet Beads
  • Wikki Stix

Activity Suggestions:

  1. Name “Stix” – invite the kids to thread alphabet letters onto Wikki Stix and create their own names or the names of family members (or pets).
  2. Sight Words “Stix”– most dollar stores sell sight word cards for young kids. Set out a few of the cards and invite the kids to locate the letter beads that form the word shown on the card.  Kids can then thread the letters in the correct order onto a Wikki Stix strand.
  3. Word Family “Stix” – word families are rhyming words that begin with a different letter (for example: sat, hat, rat, fat, mat, cat).  Have the kids thread alphabet beads onto Wikki Stix to make words in each word family.  To keep the word family strands for re-use, fold the ends of the Wikki Stix over into a ball to keep the beads from falling off.
  4. Kids that are reading can make basic sentences with letter beads threaded onto Wikki Stix. Super Wikki Stix is ideal for creating longer sentences with letter beads.
Wikki Stix and Letter Beads Activities

Extension Activity – Fishing for Letters

Materials needed:

  • Wikki Stix – 2 per child
  • Alphabet beads
  • Index cards or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or Marker

Directions:

  • Invite the kids to create a hook shape by twisting two Wikki Stix strands together and forming a hook at the top.
  • Set out assorted alphabet beads on a table or a large tray.
  • Write letters on index cards or construction paper and cut them out.
  • Kids can draw one alphabet card at a time and use the Wikki Stix “hook” to located and drag the corresponding alphabet bead to the matching letter card.

Extension Activities:

  • Use uppercase AND lowercase alphabet beads and scribed cards. Kids can then “hook” the matching uppercase bead to the lowercase bead.
  • Ask the kids to SAY the letter SOUND as they locate the corresponding letters with their Wikki Stix hook.
Alphabet Game

Wikki Stix and Pony Beads Phoneme (Sounds) Segmentation Activity

For kids that already have acquired confidence with letter recognition and letter sounds, practice segmenting the various letter sounds in words with Wikki Stix.

Materials needed:

  • Pony Beads
  • Wikki Stix
  • Index Cards or Construction Paper
  • Pencil or Marker

Directions:

  • Invite kids to thread six pony beads onto individual Wikki Stix strands.
  • Write any word that the kids are learning onto an index card or small piece of construction paper.
  • Kids can then practice reading the word and saying the individual sounds in the word. For example:  BED – has 3 sounds B-E-D.  The word SHOE has 2 sounds (SH-OE) even though the word has 4 letters.  Begin with basic words until kids gain confidence.
  • Kids can then slide the corresponding number of beads to the right of the Wikki Stix strand as a tactile and visual tool for enhancing segmentation (see photo).

Playing to learn with letters and words is FUN with Wikki Stix.  For more ways to encourage kinesthetic learners, please see:

Preparing for Kindergarten with FINE MOTOR PLAY!

3 Little Pigs – Hands-on Literacy Creation

Process Art:  Bubble Letters and Names with Wikki Stix

Creative Summer Picture Journaling with Kids!

Segmenting Sounds with Wikki Stix and Pony Beads