I loved the idea of making a “sticker station’ from Allison McDonald at No Time for Flash Cards which inspired our sticker mural. I’m not sure why I haven’t thought of it before! It’s about as simple to set up as can be and it works on those important fine motor skills all toddlers and preschoolers need to work on.
Using paper from a large roll, I used poster putty to put up our mural paper on our kitchen wall. I keep a big bag of miscellaneous stickers so I sorted through them, looking for a variety and separating them into smaller sheets. I put them in a basket on a stool. This is just one more way of making use of space in your family child care.
My group of 2-5 year olds were excited about this activity and were quickly engaged in peeling and sticking stickers. Each looked through the basket for stickers that appealed to them. One seemed to like the dot stickers, two older boys wanted the stars and the girls, well they wanted anything pink, purple or butterflies.
I have a 2 year old in care that seems hesitant to try anything new and I’m not sure how to deal with that sometimes but this time was clear. It’s tractors and construction vehicles that interest him so I found some stickers especially for him.It worked! He always seems want want help with every activity so I want to encourage independence. I peeled up the edges just a little so he would be able to easily get them off the backing himself. He did put some stickers up himself. Success!
Vertical surface work is a necessary and important part of fine motor skills.
It engages the shoulder against gravity, which promotes the development of the hand and arm for writing, it encourages an extended wrist position needed for writing, and finally it is most appropriate visually for young children. More information on vertical surface work from Writeoutofthebox.com
Outcomes of our Sticker Mural Activity
While it looks like they are just “using up old stickers”, really all this is going on:
- Stickers offer an opportunity to repeat an action many times, refine skills.
- I saw persistence in an activity.
- I could see engagement and focus. Some stayed working on stickers for over a half hour.
- Motor development – moving with coordination, purpose and using eye-hand coordination.
- Some were experimenting – will the paper backing stick? Nope, it just falls down.
- I heard talk about colors, shapes, holidays and relating to what they already know: “We had some of that candy (candy corn) at Halloween time.”
- Some worked independently and others were sharing stickers and taking turns placing them.
- They were engaging in social interaction and playing with others.
- Using language and listening.
All valuable points and why we do these types of activities in early childhood education setting!
I also like that this can be an ongoing project in our room. This is the result of just two days. You can see there was interest and time spent here! Children like to be able to go back and “do it again”, reinforcing all those wonderful skills listed above.