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It's all in the wrist- Quix Stix Team Master
Jeff Baird gives 8-year-old Derick Petrick a little help.

Lifestyle Getting on the stix Quix Stix swing into Visalia
By Nancy Loilva Times Delia

Visalia kids from 6 to 60 are getting on the stix this summer.

Quix Stix, a modern version of the ancient-Oriental Devil Stick, are swinging their way into the hands of youngsters who are so busy having fun, they don't even realize they're developing hand-eye coordination.

"It's great for motor development, too. You can be in a wheelchair and play this game and get exercise," said Jeff Baird, a Quix Stix team master who, with Ken Madsen of Fresno, has been marketing the sticks in the Visalia area.

"The key is to teach kids how to use it. The more they play with it, the better they get."

The idea for Quix Stix was developed seven years ago by Junior Benham of Bellevue, Wash., who wanted to teach his daughter how to use the Devil Stick. Quix Stix consists of three sticks, one swung from the other two on two plastic cups at each end.

Raird and Madsen quit their jobs at Boeing Aircraft and got on the stick in 1979. The two hustled the game at local fairs, and Madsen said, "Everywhere we went, we had great success."

The sticks are also the subject of a research study at California State University, Fullerton. Madsen said the study will examine how Quix Stix actually enhance reading skills.

Quix Stix, which retail for less than $8, are now marketed by Fun Industries; Inc., in Venice. This summer, Madsen and Baird donated 10 Quix Stix to the Visalia Leisure Services' summer day camp program.

Liz Lorenzi, recreation coordinator for Visalia Leisure Services, said, "It does challenge their hand-eye coordination. There just aren't that many toys out there that challenge coordination.

During, the summer camp program, Baird and Madsen paid two visits to the Whitten-dale Community Center to help children learn the fundamentals of Quix Stix.

"The kids really enjoy them. They keep their attention for a long time," said Missy. Cohn, a day camp counselor.

Derick Petrik, an 8-year-old student at Mountain View, was skeptical at first. "I hope I don't get hurt by one of these," he said warily. But, Baird assured them the sticks were nothing like the broomsticks Benham's daughter used to use when she tried her father's first version of Quix Stix. Madsen said Quix Stix are also useful in helping to build a child's self-confidence. An 8-year-old Jamie Nevaro swung the stick around to get a smiley face, he said excitedly, "I don't know what it's called, but I sure am good at it."

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