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Stickers are like magnets to my kids. Whenever I bring out any stickers, their faces light up. It’s wonderful to see them have fun while developing their skills as they play.
As a busy mom of 2, I love it when my kids play with stickers. I have to be honest, it keeps them occupied and gives me some time to catch up on some quick chores. My kids can play with stickers for hours if I let them, but I like to keep it short to an hour so that they don’t lose interest the next time I take them out again.
Both my girls are still young, so I’m all for fine motor development with a side of creativity. Whenever I don’t feel like cleaning up after them with messy paint, crayon or chalk, I let them play with stickers. Stickers are so easy to play with, and they are affordable too if you know where to look – I often get the free ones from grocery stores like Trader Joes. I also have a bunch of address labels that I get for free, and honestly, my kids don’t really care what stickers look like at this age. Amazon has really cheap ones too. I bought this set of 1650 small stickers for $7. Hours of fun for only $7 is totally doable for us!So, at what age should you introduce stickers to young kids? I started to introduce them to my kids when they were about 18 months old.
Aside from the fun from playing with stickers, did you know that peeling stickers has bigger benefits? It is such a fun and fine motor Montessori activity for toddlers. Here are 7 reasons why every kid should play with stickers and why stickers are so useful for children:
1. Sensory Development
Well, we all know that stickers are sticky on one side, and smooth on the other side. This offers children an amazing sensory experience! When they peel the stickers off the paper, kids are often making a conscious decision on which way to stick to the paper.
When you have a variety of stickers, kids can discover the different textures of fuzzy, puffy or scratchy stickers too.
2. Visual skills
Stickers often come in a set. When I present these sets to my kids, it requires some visual scanning on their part as they pick which sticker to peel off. This skill will come in handy when they start to read, write or even search for an item in a crowded environment.
3. Hand Coordination
Let’s not forget the fact that children need to hold down the sticker sheet with one hand, and use the other hand to get the sticker off the sheet. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but this skill requires a lot from little kids and it helps them build small muscles in their hands.
This bilateral hand coordination is an essential skill for so many functional tasks like: zipping a coat and cutting with scissors where both hands are required for completing the task.
4. Develop pincer grasp
Peeling stickers off the sheet requires a neat pincer grasp. I give my kids smaller stickers to play with, so they really need to master the skill of using the tips of their fingers to grip a small area.
That being said, playing with stickers is a great way to practice their pincer grasp. This skill will come in useful in the future when they need to pick up small beads or a sewing needle.
5. Spatial awareness
Would you have known that stickers are great for developing spatial awareness too? This works great with bigger kids.
For example, for writing, use bright-colored stickers as a visual cue for where to start writing on a page.
We can also use stickers to indicate where to place folders in a cabinet or where to put their coats in the closet.
There are so many ways to use stickers in this area to help kids with difficulties with spatial awareness!
6. Gross Motor Development
Kids often have trouble jumping, skipping or hopping. We can use stickers to give a visual cue as they practice these skills.
For example, you can place different stickers on each knee. Ask your children to place their hand on the left knee sticker, and the other hand on the right knee sticker.
7. Memory skills
Create a memory game with stickers. You can simply create a sheet with a grid, put the appropriate stickers on the square, laminate and cut off. You are good to go!
This is such an easy game to create for little kids for hours of fun.
Since playing with stickers brings so many benefits, to capitalize on their interests in stickers, here are 7 more ways that you can learn and play with stickers:
- Sort sticker by sizes and colors
- Trace numbers and letters with stickers
- Create mosaic with stickers
- Turn stickers into magnets by Moms of All Traders
One thing to note is that most toddlers don’t just sit there with a sticker tray and paste them nicely onto the paper as instructed. My kids go crazy with stickers as they also paste them on every possible surface at home. One alternative is to buy the reusable sticker books to keep everything neater. For this, I would highly recommend the Melissa & Doug Paw Patrol Restickable Stickers.
The point here is to let your children explore and let them work on their fine motor skills and develop their creativity.
What are some of your favorite ways to play with stickers? I would love to hear from you!
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