TRY&BUY: Wikki Stix
Even when the service is swift at a local restaurant, the wait can seem interminable when you're 5 years old. A little distraction is in order. Traditionally this would be provided by crayons and some butcher paper, but there's a less messy alternative now available at some of your favorite child-friendly restaurants. Called Wikki Stix, they're basically thin, bendable strips of color that are self-adhering to any smooth surface, but also repositionable and removable. The sticky sticks are made out of yarn enhanced with a microcrystalline food-grade, nontoxic wax, the kind used in bubble gum and lipstick. They do not contain peanut oil, latex, gluten or other allergens.
Omnicor, the company behind Wikki Stix, is based here in the Valley. It offers a wide variety of packages directly to families (letters, numbers, dinosaurs, even a travel kit) and on a wholesale basis to restaurants and others. (We were of course thrilled to see that farm animal, food and pizza/Italian mini-packs are available.) Visit local restaurants such as Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue and La Grande Orange Pizzeria to check them out, order your own packs at wikkistix.com or find a store near you using their locator.