A child’s world may be filled with technological gadgets and gizmos, TV shows, toys, and movies, but present him with the simple allure of a stick, and an entirely new world opens up. Using his imagination, he will build cognitive skills, reconnect with nature, and get good and dirty in the process. Pair some found sticks with Stick-lets and watch the magic unfold. Stick-lets are flexible child-safe, ROHS-compliant silicone connectors that help to easily lash sticks together to fashion forts, tents, playhouses, and just about anything else your kiddo can dream up. Available in different shapes and colors, Stick-lets facilitate introductions into the great outdoors, architecture, and creativity.

Christina Kazakia began Stick-lets as an extension of her thesis for the Rhode Island School of Design. After a discussion with other parents through a spontaneous dinner date, she found that what concerned families the most was the lack of their children’s exposure to nature and the rarity of safe, unsupervised play. She wanted to design something that was transportable, easily manipulated, and interactive. Noting that building blocks were always a popular plaything, she eventually created Stick-Lets as a modern twist on a timeless concept.

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“Stick-lets can help kids get back outside, away from the screen and into the world, where they create stimulating and imaginative experiences. They are designed as a prompt for children to discover nature existing around them. By engaging with this toy, they become aware of a resourceful and renewable element, the stick. Children can feel a sense of accomplishment by scavenging sticks and constructing forts, but Stick-lets also provide opportunities for problem-solving, teamwork, imaginative play, and hands-on learning,” Kazakia offers.

The silicone connecters are produced in Taiwan, and the rest of the packaging is sourced from Pennsylvania. The kits can be purchased through the Stick-lets online store, or found in select retailers around the country.

+ Stick-lets $24.95-$48.50