Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Stick-lets Fort Kit

Stick-lets Fort Kit

Fall 2013 Toys
Ages: 5 & Up
Price: $48.50

A stick, according to Wired, has been put forward as one of the best toys of all times (along with box, string, cardboard tube, and dirt). Even better than one stick, however, is two, or five, or ten. They make excellent swords and can be used as the basis for bridges and forts and anything else a child can imagine. Stick-lets, to put it concisely, are silicone stick-binders. Not quite as versatile as rope, they are still a surprisingly useful and powerful tool. Moreover, they are fun and inspiring, encouraging kids to get outside and play. And build.

Stick-lets are not an immediate answer to outside fort-building problems—the engineering issue is much more complicated—but they are easier, safer, more durable, more reusable, and more weather resistant than rope (not to mention more colorful), and are especially appropriate for younger kids. For older kids, one should probably teach them proper knots; one could buy a lot of rope for the price of this set (10 pieces, more than adequate for a wide range of projects, run about $25; the 20-piece set is double that). They come in various sizes to connect anything from strong twigs to heavy branches, and in shapes with up to four holes. The silicone is strong and therefore somewhat tough; small fingers may need help pulling them around more knobbly sticks, but an 8-year-old is able to manage unaided. There are no rules or instructions for these—just hand them over and see what happens.

Emily Crawford   ©2013 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Look for this product at:
Kazakia Design, LLC / Stick-lets

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