Stick It To Me

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Who doesn’t love stickers? For as long as I can remember, I have loved them. It started with my grandmother working for a stationary company when I was little and she would go to all the trade shows and would bring home all the new and upcoming stickers. I still have some of them in my Tupperware filled with childhood memories. I had no idea when I was younger what a role stickers would play in my career but I use them all the time and am excited to share all of the benefits of a variety of sticker based crafts. One of the great things about sticker activity sets is that they are perfect for keeping kids entertained while traveling, waiting for food when at a restaurant or at a doctor’s appointment. They are easy to throw in a

Not only are using stickers fun, they are great for working on improving fine motor, grasping, hand-eye coordination and so many other occupational therapy related goals. Stickers can be used as a motivator for kids when they are being asked to do more challenging activities and are a great reward at the end of the session. Here are just a few of the ways using stickers can benefit a child’s development:
*improving grasping skills such as encouraging children to use a fine-pincer grasp when removing stickers from the sheet
*improves finger control
*improves hand-eye and bilateral coordination
*improves visual motor and visual perceptual skills
*improves organizational skills
*improves spatial awareness
*can improve matching skills depending on the activity
*encourages focus, attention and other executive functioning skills

Dot Sticker Art-this is a great sticker activity set for toddlers and children who are having difficulty with fine motor and grasping skills. This set comes with 8 animal themed pictures and about 500 colored and patterned stickers. What’s nice about this sticker activity set is that there are no rules other than putting stickers in the blank spots on the pictures. If you have a child who does better with “rules” or visual prompts, you can take a marker and put dots in the blank spots and have the kids put the stickers on them to give them some visual cues and direction…this will help with improving hand-eye coordination and visual attention skills. For younger kids, this is a fun way to work on color recognition while also working developing fine motor, grasping and manipulation skills.

DJECO Colored Dot Sticker Activity Set-this set is very similar to the set above but this one actually has specific spots to put the colored stickers. I like this one because while it is still pretty open-ended, kids have some boundaries and expectations as to where they put the stickers. This set comes with 4 different animal pictures and over 450 colored dot stickers. While very simple, I love how many skills can be worked on while creating the sticker pictures. For most of my kids, I let them put the stickers on any of the blank circles but for my older kids, I will take a marker and make colored dots on each of the circles to encourage matching, visual tracking and improve hand-eye coordination.

Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics-these are my go-to recommendation and gifts for kids of all ages. There are different sets for different ages and skill-sets but the objective is the same for all of them. Using foam stickers, kids make pictures of animals, princesses, dinosaurs and so much more. For younger kids, the stickers are larger and different colors and shapes and they have to put the stickers on the shapes and colors that match. For older kids, the different colored shapes and stickers go with numbers on the picture that you have to match. These are great for improving grasping and manipulation skills, improves hand-eye coordination and works on planning and organizational skills.

Paint By Sticker-I have a little secret about Paint By Sticker books….I am OBSESSED with them and actually have the adult Paint By Sticker books at home and will do them when I am bored or stressed out. This is one of my go-to activities to work on improving fine motor, grasping and manipulation skills for my older preschoolers and school-aged children and I use it as a long-term hand warm-up project. I use them in therapy to work on improving hand-eye coordination, visual skills such as visual tracking and visual attention, work on improving fine motor skills such as grasping and manipulation skills, number identification and matching and to improve executive functioning skills such as focus, attention, task completion and improving frustration tolerance. There are all kinds of themed books to choose from including animals, space, holidays and so much more. There are also a limited series of Learn By Sticker where kids find where the matching sticker goes by figuring out a spelling or math problem and then putting the sticker where the answer to each problem is.

Paper Pie Build Your Own Sticker Books-these were recommended to me by one of my favorite people who happens to be a mom, special education teacher and now a sales representative for Paper Pie (formally known as Usborne) so anything she suggests is an automatic winner to me. If you have a kid who loves doing puzzles, these are for them. You can choose from a variety of themes including aliens, dinosaurs, superheroes, robots, trucks and SO much more. Not only do they get to complete sticker 11 sticker puzzles, they get to learn facts and information about each of the completed images.

Diamond Painting Sticker Sets-these have been a big hit with my kids at work and I like them because they can be completed in one session which is great for working on building endurance and improving focus and attention for kids who are working on that. Using a pencil shaped tool, kids pick up colorful gems and place them on the number or color associated with it. Because they are using a pencil-like tool, this is a motivating way to work on improving grasping skills with older preschool and school-aged kids. In the end, kids feel really proud of themselves that they have completed the sticker and then can put it on a water bottle, notebook or wherever they want.

 

Dolly Sticker Books-these were one of my daughter’s favorite activities to do when she was younger and they would keep her entertained for hours on end. Because they brought so much happiness and joy to my little girl, I didn’t realize until much later how these could be so good for so many of the kids I work with to help them work on improving their fine motor, grasping and manipulation skills, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and work on hand-eye coordination and following directions. There are so many different themes to choose from and all kinds of dolls to dress with the stickers provided. Each page is different and they have to dress each doll on the page with the correct stickers Kids get SO engaged with these sticker books that they don’t even realize they are working!

 

Play Again Reusable Sticker Sets-Ooly is always coming out with great products and their reusable sticker sets are probably one of my favorites. While similar to Colorforms in the sense that you can use them over and over again, I like that they are thicker and can handle the wear and tear of all the little hands playing with them in my office. These sets are great because they offer 4 different play options….matching, tic-tac-toe, a board game and then a scene that kids are encouraged to put the stickers on and create their own scene. I really like that there are lots of opportunities to work on developing fine motor, grasping and┬ámanipulation skills in a way that is fun and less like work for younger children. The reusable stickers can also stick to a variety of surfaces so they can used for open-ended and creative play while in the car by sticking them on the windows.

 

Sticker Suncatcher Kit-it’s always fun to find simple craft activities with familiar characters and what kid doesn’t love Eric Carle and The Hungry Little Caterpillar? This cute set comes with all you need to make 7 colorful suncatchers and is simple enough for young preschoolers to do them pretty independently. Kids peel stickers off and put them on to the different images and once completely covered with stickers, they can attach a string and suction cup up to display on any window. This is a great way to work on improving grasping and manipulation skills, improves hand-eye coordination and works on improving focus and attention. I like that it is open-ended and the kids can choose whatever colors they want for each of the pictures.

Hidden Picture Sticker Fun Activity Books-I have loved Hidden Pictures since I was a kid and I love that they are still a thing that kids love today. I use Hidden Pictures in therapy sessions all the time (both in the book form or on their fantastic Puzzle Town app) because they work on SO many occupational therapy goals but are also motivating and offer a just-right challenge for kids. This sticker version is just like the regular Hidden Pictures game but instead of circling the picture, you put a sticker on the matching object once you have found it. In addition to being great for working on improving fine motor, grasping and manipulation skills, it’s also a great activity to work on improving visual motor and visual perceptual skills such as tracking and visual discrimination.

Melissa and Doug Make-A-Face Books-it can be really tricky teaching kids how to draw people, especially if they have body awareness and other sensory challenges. I have found that by starting with these sticker books and taking away the work of having to draw that kids have better success with learning where each part of their face belongs. When possible, I have kids do these while looking in a mirror so they can improve their self-awareness about where each sticker belongs. The Make-A-Face books are a fun way to work on improving grasping and manipulation skills, improves hand-eye and bilateral coordination and can work on increasing focus and attention.

 

Melissa and Doug Puffy Sticker Sets-I love these books for so many reasons, but one of my favorite things is that the puffy stickers can be used over and over again and safely stick on a variety of surfaces making them great for keeping kids entertained when traveling. Not only do they stickers come with scenes for kids to complete, they can stick on airplane or car windows which can keep kids entertained for a really long time while also working on improving fine motor, grasping andmanipulation skills and improving visual motor and visual perceptual skills. These sets are also great for kids who are working on speech because you can have tons of conversation about the scenes, work on learning about prepositions and work on having kids follow verbal directions. There are so many different options to choose from….Paw Patrol, princesses, farm animals, mermaids, safari animals, pirates and SO many more.

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