I love using Wikki Stix for multi-sensory activities. Wikki Stix are simply wax covered yarn that can be shaped. It’s great to use when teaching letters or sight words as the students shape the yarn into letters. Although Play-Doh is an awesome multi-sensory activity, the clean up with the Wikki Stix is quicker and easier. Now Wikki Stix can purchased commercially, but they are quite expensive. Recently I found a similar product at Walmart- Bendaroos. Bendaroos are a bit cheaper especially if you can get them sale. To even drive the cost down further and in the spirit of D.I.Y., I found a recipe for making your own wax covered yarn. I was so anxious to try this.
To make your own wax covered yarn you’ll need to gather the following materials:
- 1 wax covered toilet wax bowl ring
- 1/2 cup of paraffin wax
So the first thing you’ll do is melt the wax ring in a pan, but first place the pan in another pan filled with water. When the wax is melted, remove the plastic ring.
Now place the paraffin wax in the pan. My paraffin wax came in blocks so I wasn’t quite sure how to measure 1/2 cup. I placed one block in the pan, but in hindsight, I should have used 1 1/2- 2 blocks as I wish my sticks were a little “stickier”.
As the paraffin wax is melting, cut your yarn. You can cut the yarn into any length you wish. When you purchase Wikki Stix or Bendaroos, the sticks are approximately 6″ in length. I always wish they were longer so I cut 12″ pieces. As you can see from the above pic, the wax has a brown color. The red, green and blue yarn that I used worked great, but the purple yarn came out more brownish than purple.
Now simply dip the yarn in the wax and then place it on wax paper to dry. Be sure to hold the yarn up over the pan so that the excess wax can drip off.
So, how many wax covered yarn sticks can you make with this method? Tons! I was dipping yarn for over 1/2 hour before calling it quits. I actually had wax left over so I could have been dipping for at least 15 minutes more. After the sticks dried, I simply cut them again in various lengths and stored them in a baggie.
Now your students are ready to use the yarn to form letters or words.