Forts come to mind. But I also see obstacle courses, sculptures, and toys of the imagination. I see children finding their way to their inner selves, a place of creativity and calm. I also see them working together to create bigger and more elaborate constructions as they navigate sharing and cooperation.
Stick-lets are a tool that sparks this creative leap.
Made of heavy silicone, they are virtually indestructible and certainly twistable, allowing little fingers to manipulate them into providing the connections that turn sticks into forts. The other night my therapy staff and I played with Christina Kazakia, creator of these genius devices.
Here are some ways that we considered their use in our therapy with children:
Make a construction together and have them each find a unique way to move through or around it (Betsy-Dance/Movement Therapist)
Make a construction and have them find and name shapes and letters (Stefanie-Speech/Language Therapy)
Have a child create a small, cozy space that helps them to feel safe when they are overwhelmed (Kathryn-Art Therapist)
Have kids in a group make an element alone then come together to join them into one sculptural piece (Kristen-Art Therapist)
Create catapults and moving levers and such to experiment with (Holly-Play Therapist)
Of course, Christina herself had lots of ideas and things to share from kids and families that she has met as she takes her little tools on the road to get people interacting with nature. She reminded us that so often, the parents look a bit confused as to what to do, but the kids know!
And they leap into action for hours on end. Watching them, the parents turn their curiosity to their child and embrace the unbridled energy of the creative process.