Perhaps it is the wind and rain, although we are still going for our nature walks we are spending more time inside and my toddler is loving ALL the cutting, pasting, and sticker work!
Sometimes we use sticker books how they are intended, by sticking the stickers in the books often on predetermined pages. Most of all we use stickers for collage work, presented on a tray. Although we have used dot stickers my toddler in now more interested in stickers of things! I also like reusable stickers (especially for travelling) but find the range of these available is limited.
I present stickers on a tray (along with a blank sheet of paper) in two different ways:
- Individual stickers cut out in a bowl - this is perhaps best for a very young toddler as it's easier to peel the sticker off from the backing and it's a nice clean way of presenting them on the tray.
- A sheet of stickers at a time on a tray - for a young child I remove the sticky backing that is around the stickers, this makes it so much easier for the toddler to remove the stickers themselves.
Sticker work/collage is good for:
- building concentration.
- completing a cycle of activity.
- fine motor skills - developing hand strength and coordination.
- developing language - through naming and later through creating a narrative, for developing knowledge of prepositions (over, under, next to, behind, in front of, below, beneath, between).
- exploring or celebrating a theme like seasons, fruit, animals, flowers.
- for colour sorting and matching.
For Sticker Books I look for:
- realistic images - as realistic as possible but can be illustrated, I love the children's photographic sticker books.
- images of items my toddler is interested in - currently it's insects, animals in general, transport, and construction.
- pages that easily tear out - this is not a deal breaker but I love it when the pages tear out easily allowing me to present the stickers on a tray.
- stickers that are small and medium in size - a preschooler may be able to manage larger stickers but for a toddler I like small (for fine motor skills) and medium size stickers as I find the larger ones are harder to peel without tearing.
We use and love:
Eyelike Stickers - photographic and vibrant with lots of good themes to match the child's interests.
Usborne Little and First Sticker Books - some but not all in the series are realistic and based in reality. I like how these provide scenes and backgrounds to put the stickers on, my toddler went through a period when he obsessed with the Big Machine book.
DK Ultimate Sticker Books - these are fabulous and I love topics like volcanoes and space for older children.
Melissa & Doug Sticker Collection Pads - these are super affordable but in many packs there are fantasy and cartoonish stickers, in a big pack like the ones pictured above I will simply flip through the pages and pull out or remove stickers that I don't like.
I would like to try the:
- Dover Little Activity Book Stickers including the Realistic series by Jan Sovak.
- Melissa and Doug Reusable Puffy Stickers Play Set like Vehicles, Ocean or Dinosaurs.
My toddler occasionally tears stickers when he is removing them from the paper and this causes frustration, but frustration that he can work and persist through. Dot stickers are easy for a toddler to use and are a great way to start using stickers. Later when a child around preschool age alphabet stickers can be used for developing literacy skills, especially in different fonts for visual discrimination and identifying the formation of letters. Montessori Services also has a selection of good realistic sticker books here.
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