The spontaneous dinner date with childhood friends that led to a thesis project.

One by one my friends and I went around the dinner table sharing our favorite childhood memories. It quickly became apparent that they all took place in the great outdoors. This realization made me wonder if children today will have similar stories to share when they are adults. Will today’s youthful experiences become memories that illicit a yearning for days of unstructured activity, unsupervised play, and risk-taking- much like ours did? Will these memories incite a need to preserve our natural resources if today’s children are not provided the same opportunity to love and appreciate nature? These are my concerns and the driving force behind Stick-lets. 

My studies on factors such as virtual distractions (screens!), busy family schedules, parental fears, and decreased outdoor education within rapidly growing urban areas, made it clear that children were not getting enough exposure to nature. This led to my written thesis at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011, Natural Imagination: Reconnecting Children with Nature.

After months of research, field study, and prototyping, I realized that the tool should be open-ended, simple, portable, AND fun. It should trigger a direct relationship with nature by giving children the freedom to manipulate, construct, and design their own experiences. Since classic toys such as building blocks are still a big hit; why not take the free play outside? 

Stick-lets® help children of all ages get back outside to create engaging and memorable experiences. By using Stick-lets®, kids fall in love with the resourceful, renewable, and plentiful element: the stick! These durable, reusable, weather-resistant and safe silicone joints stretch the imagination through the simple act of lashing together various sizes of scavenged sticks. The flexible nature of the six shapes gives kids the freedom to build forts, toys, animal kingdoms, geometric shapes, and much more. Stick-lets® promote problem-solving, team building skills, imaginative dexterity, design discovery and hands-on learning through physical manipulation (i.e. built with your own two hands!).

-Christina Kazakia, Creator