Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stick It To Me!

For any of you who follow me regularly, you may know my love for the Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics.  Unfortunately, it seems like they are not as easy to get anymore....perhaps to make way for a lot of their new awesome products....and I have been trying to find things to replace them.  The thing is that stickers, no matter what they look like, motivate kids.  Whether it be a reward for a job well done or part of an arts and crafts set, kids LOVE stickers.  Since the Sticky Mosaic sets are no longer as easy to find in my local toy stores (be sure to check out Amazon since they do still have a bunch available), I have started looking for options that will help to accomplish a similar goal. 

Below, you will find a handful of my new go-to sticker activities.  They are not only great for working on developing a variety of fine motor and visual skills, they are ideal for encouraging creativity, helping to build confidence and self-esteem once they have completed their work.

Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Kaleidoscopes-I am just returning from vacation with my daughter.  What that means is that I spent time checking out kid's stores for new things.  One of the things I discovered, and am completely obsessed with, are these series of sticker books from Mrs. Grossman's.  There are 4-different books to choose from and a handful of 1-sheet sticker sets to choose from.  It's fun, easy and not too many directions to follow:  peel off stickers and match them to the right letter.  Sounds simple, but there is a bit of a challenge:  there are some stickers that face different directions so you have to be mindful of the letter associated with it and make sure it's in the right place.  Once all the stickers are on, you have a beautiful sticker mandala creation to show off.  This is great for working on developing fine motor and grasping skills, improves hand-eye coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and improves executive functioning skills such as focus, attention, organizational and sequencing skills.  It's also wonderful for building up confidence and self-esteem once your child has completed the whole picture.
**one of the bonus' of these books is that each page has extra stickers just in case you mess up.  At the end of the book, there are blank pages for your child to create their own kaleidoscope creations.

Paint By Sticker Kids-these books are definitely intended for older children, particularly those with a good frustration tolerance.  Over the years, I have found that many of the kids I work with don't like coloring or drawing but want to be creative.  It can be for a variety of reasons, but most often kids avoid coloring because of decreased grasp strength or decreased endurance activities using those little muscles in the hands.  Paint By Sticker Kids books allow kids to be creative but take away the use of a writing instrument which can be stressful for some kids.  Each book contains 10 illustrations that kids bring to life by putting the stickers in the correct place.  This requires a lot of focus, attention and organization making it a perfect activity for children who need to work on developing higher level executive functioning skills.  Additionally, it's a great activity for improving fine motor and grasping skills, hand-eye coordination and visual motor and visual perceptual skills.  Most importantly, kid's confidence and self-esteem will soar when they complete this challenging activity. 

Melissa and Doug Peel and Press Sticker by Numbers-another great sticker activity for school age children that works on developing fine motor skills.  Kids complete the picture by matching the different shapes to their numbers.  Unlike the sticky mosaics, the stickers are different shapes and sizes, not just different colored squares.  One of the really nice things about this activity is that it comes on a wooden frame that can be hung on a wall once completed.  In addition to working on fine motor skills, they are great for working on focus, attention and organizational skills and helps to improve hand-eye coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills.  Also great for increasing confidence and self-esteem when they complete the picture and get to display it for all to see.

Alex My First Mosaics-these sticker mosaics were created for preschoolers and are very similar to the Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics.  What's nice about these and what makes them better for younger kids/smaller fingers is that the stickers are bigger and easier for them to manipulate.  Each set comes 5 pictures to complete using different colored shaped stickers.  Instead of matching the stickers by number, kids match the color and shapes.  My First Mosaics are great for developing fine motor and grasping skills, improves hand-eye coordination, visual motor and perceptual skills and improves focus, attention and organizational skills.  Additionally, they are great for introducing younger children to colors and shapes.

Usbourne Sticker Dolly Dressing Books-these have been a favorite of my daughters for years and I have been recommending them to friends and the families I work with all the time.  I especially love this sticker book to keep my daughter entertained while traveling because you don't have to worry about making a mess with markers or other writing instruments.  There are several different themes to choose from based on your child's interests.  Using the stickers provided, kids dress the dolls and bring the pages to life.  Great for working on developing fine motor and grasping skills, improves hand-eye coordination and works on increasing focus, attention, organizational and planning skills.  They are also great for encouraging language skills by having kids talk about what is happening on each page.


On-The-Go Make A Face Craft Kit
-if you follow me, you know I have a complete obsession with all of the Kid Made Modern products.  They are affordable, well-made and encourage creativity in an open-ended manner.  Using hundreds of different colored felt stickers with a variety of facial features, kids can create faces, monsters, robots or whatever else comes to their mind.  This kit is especially made for taking on the go and all of the stickers and googly eyes can be stored in the canvas tote that it comes with.  I like to throw some scraps of papers and some markers in the bag so kids can add details to their creations.  Great for developing fine motor and grasping skills, encouraging bilateral coordination, improves visual motor and visual perceptual skills and works on developing executive functioning skills such as focus, attention, organization and motor planning.  The open-ended aspect of this activity helps to build confidence, self-esteem and creativity in children of all ages as there is no right or wrong way to do it.

Arty World:  Early Learning Through Art-this is a great book for preschool age kids.  They can learn about different shapes while completing a variety of activities using the stickers in the book.  Kids fill in missing parts of the pictures using the correct stickers.  This is great to work on developing fine motor and grasping skills, improves bilateral coordination skills, visual motor and visual perceptual skills and encourages creativity.  One of my favorite things about this whole series of books is that there are notes throughout the books that help parents know what is expected of their children for each activity.  This is nice because it also helps with engaging kids in conversation while completing each page.

Pipsticks Sticker Club-my 8 year old daughter insisted I include this in this post.  We have been member of this sticker club for well over a year and we just love it.  Each month, my daughter receives an envelope filled with 15 sheets of different stickers, a prepaid postcard and paper goodies.  One of the first things Quinn does after looking through her new stickers is to decorate and write a note to a friend or family member.  If you have a sticker lover in your life, I couldn't recommend this more.  Here are some of the activities I do with some of the stickers:
*practice handwriting by having kids write out the names of different stickers
*work on developing grasping skills and increase grasp strength by having them remove stickers from the sheets and placing them on paper.  To add a visual motor component to it, I draw dots all over the paper and have them put the stickers on to the dots.

One of the things I love about all of these sticker based activities is that it gets kids who may struggle with drawing or coloring to have success with crafts.  By taking away the graphomotor aspect of things, they are more motivated to complete the tasks presented to them.  I also find that if I can use the stickers as a starting place for an activity, I can encourage the kids to add details with writing instruments much easier.  Do you have any amazing sticker activities, books or craft sets that your family loves?  If you have any ideas, definitely share them with me and my readers.  I am only a click away and love hearing from you all. 









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