About once a week, The Daily Kool indulges in a family night out, which includes a restaurant dinner, usually followed by dessert at Dairy Queen or Carvel. Restaurant night is a special treat and an extra opportunity for us parents to bond with our kids at the dinner table...if only we could pry those darned Nintendo DS systems from their grubby little hands. We can't tell you how many times we've been tempted to toss the little buggers (the games, not the kids) out the window. So, we at The Daily Kool have established a strict rule of no technology at the dinner table, including cell phones and BlackBerrys (much to our husbands' dismay). There's only one problem...how do we entertain our techno-obsessed kids while waiting for dinner to arrive?
We came across Wikki Stix at our local educational supply store and thought they would be great for restaurant entertainment. Wikki Stix are craft sticks made from acrylic hand-knitting yarn covered in a food-grade, microcrystalline wax...completely non-toxic and non-allergenic. Wikki Stix are flexible, bendable and reusable, and can be maneuvered into an infinite number of imaginative creations. They will stick to any surface with finger pressure (we now have a "giant" on our wall, courtesy of our four-year old), and can even be fashioned into a three-dimensional piece of artwork. Bugs were the theme of choice at tonight's restaurant trip...we made butterflies, beetles, flies and even ladybugs. Everyone participated, had fun and most importantly, we all enjoyed each other's company.
We love that the Wikki Stix website gives so many creative ideas for their product. Check them out for craft ideas, as well as educational uses for this multi-purpose toy. Wikki Stix has won several parenting awards for their innovative invention...all well-deserved, in our opinion. Our kids absolutely love playing with them...as do we. We have used them for simple connect-the-dot projects, and have created characters that bring our kids' favorite storybooks to life. Our older son has already told us that he wants to make a map of the United States at next week's restaurant night, and our younger son wants to make a puppy dog named Lava (we have no idea). A little birdie told us that the men are secretly designing Wikki Stix PSPs and iPhones just to mess with us.
Please note...we have seen countless commercials for Bendaroos for the last several months. We are not sure what the difference is between Wikki Stix and Bendaroos, but Wikki Stix has definitely earned The Daily Kool's trust with their "made in the U.S." label. In our research, we have read several conflicting reports on the ethical behavior of the Bendaroos group, but keep in mind that we are not talking from personal experience. Bendaroos do seem to be a little less expensive than Wikki Stix, so do your research to decide which company is more suited to you and your family.
Wikki Stix are a terrific way to play with your children at restaurants, on the road or at home. While we don't expect them to replace the techno toys in our kids' hearts, they are still wonderful and fun way to inspire creativity and learning for all ages. Definitely a "kool" idea!
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