Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Foiled Again!

Every once in a while I stumble upon an arts and craft project and I feel like I have hit the jackpot.  I first felt that way when I discovered the Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics.  To this day, I still buy tons of these sets each year to do with my kids and they never get bored of it.  Actually, I have 12 kids on my caseload working on different pictures as we speak.  So when I was searching through the craft aisle at West Side Kids on the UWS the other day, I was thrilled to find the Foil Art Sticker Kits by at Peaceable Kingdom.

I am a big fan of craft projects that take more than one or two sessions to work on.  I find that it makes it more exciting and rewarding for the children that I work with to spread projects out over a few sessions.  I love seeing the pride on their faces when they finish something that they worked on for so long and try and make it a really big deal when they get to proudly show off their work to their parents or caregivers.  It's a really great thing to watch them run out of the room and share their work and tell everyone how they did it.  Sometimes, I will talk to my kids about the process and how hard it was when we started the project and how it got easier.  This is a great opportunity to build a child's self-esteem and confidence.

Foil Art Sticker Kits by at Peaceable Kingdom are a fun and motivating project for any child.  So far, I have found that they work better for my older preschool kids or my school-age kids because it requires a decent amount of patience, and more importantly, focus.  It also requires a certain amount of hand strength in order to complete the project which means an older child will have more success completing it independently.  These projects are a great way to work on a variety of fine motor skills, including increasing hand strength and manipulation skills.  For kids who avoid those kinds of activities, this is a great way to hide that work and end up with a really cool project to take home at the end.  Another nice thing about the Foil Art Sticker Kits is that the options are not too overwhelming.  Each set comes with 4 different colors to choose from which I find to be helpful in organizing ones work and attention.  When there are too many colors to choose from, I notice that some of my kids become more distracted and end up jumping from one color to another rather quickly.

In addition to what has already been mentioned above, Foil Art Sticker Kits by at Peaceable Kingdom can work on the following skills:

Improve Bilateral Coordination Skills-looking for a simple but fun activity to promote using two hands?  This is perfect.  It will be nearly impossible to make your picture without using two hands.  First, you have to hold the sheet/picture with one hand while you peel the stickers off with the other hand.  Once you have the sticker off the picture, you have to hold the picture still with one hand while you rub the foil onto the sticker using a finger from your other hand.  Sounds simple but I can't tell you how difficult this can be for some children.
Improve Modulation/Regulations Skills-I have done these with a few kids at work and at home with my own 4 year old and have learned that the whole "slow and steady" motto really helps.  When a child tries and rub the foil really fast, it moves around too much and won't stick well.  They will have to redo their work which can be quite frustrating.  The nice thing about making this a long-term project is that after a session or two, I can see the kids slowing down and being more attentive to what they are doing and how quickly they are doing it.  As I say to my kids.....they don't have to be perfect but they must try their best to do their best.  For some of my kids, just being able to slow down is their best and that is a huge thing.
Improve Grasping Skills-a child is required to pull the sticker off before they place the colored foil on top of the picture which will work on developing a fine pincer grasp.  Additionally, a child has to use a fine pincer grasp to pull the top of the sticker off so they can place the foil on top.  For some of my kids, this is quite challenging and requires some encouragement and assistance from me to make sure to take only one sticker off at a time.
Improve Organizational Skills-for my older children who may be working on improving organizing their work and improving executive functioning skills, I have them think about what color they want each section to be prior to completing the activity.  After they have figured out what color will go where, they then have to complete all of the same color at one time.

Peaceable Kingdom is a great company and I love that they make so many great products that I can feel good about supporting and recommending to others.  First of all, they have an amazing mission:
Make good, do good, be good!
They use sustainable materials in their products whenever they can using recycled papers and soy-based inks.  They work with independent illustrators, giving people the chance to make their mark on this awesome world we live in.  Most importantly, they believe in creating products that help you connect to the kids in your life and for kids to connect to other kids.  Awesome, right?  Plus, they have awesome customer service.  If you lose a piece to one of their games, they will replace it for you at no cost.  Lastly, they are big into giving back to their people through a "Donation a Day" program.  I don't know about you, but I would like to see more companies out there like this and I will do what I can to support and promote them.

I found my Foil Art Sticker Kits at West Side Kids, an amazing toy store on the upper west side of Manhattan.  Be sure to check out your local toy stores to see if they carry these kits (or any of the fantastic products by Peaceable Kingdom).  I am a huge supporter supporting our local businesses whenever possible and hope that my readers do the same.  If you don't see these products in your local toy stores you can always find them on their website by clicking here.

I am always looking for new craft projects that will motivate my kids at work.  Ones that will work on improving their fine motor and attentional skills are awesome especially if they will help on building self-esteem and confidence.  Do you have other great projects like the Foil Art Sticker Kits or the Orb Factory Sticky Mosaics that you would recommend to me and my readers.  I am always looking for something new to add to my OT closet and love hearing from you all.  I am always a click away so please be sure to send me your favorites!  

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