Well, folks. Sorting out myself in this whole KonMari decluttering and learning to focus has led me to want to be more consistent with what I post on this blog. Being that early childhood and life with a toddler is one of the biggest pieces of my life – especially now that I have my very own toddler – I think I should make another commitment in addition to the Friday Five, to post a new idea each week relating to toddlers. Let’s call it Toddler Tuesday, and you can expect something in the way of activities, parenting hacks, recipes, and anything else that comes up that is solely focused on making life with a toddler easier and more enjoyable for the both (or more) of you.
That leads me to today’s post, the first of the Toddler Tuesday series: Sticker-Book Cards
As a child, I collected stickers in sticker-books. I didn’t realize until just last week how many stickers I had, or the extent of my collecting, until I went to grab something for Little Miss Ziggity to do out of our craft room. Inside one of the drawers that is just begging to be KonMari-ed, I found a bunch of different sticker books filled with pages of (often categorized – bird page, sea life page, food, etc) stickers.
We tried stickers once to make a card for this past Father’s Day, and Z was eager to use these sticky little pictures. At the time, I had offered her the stickers off of a sticker sheet. This seemed to be a bit tricky, as the extra sticker paper surrounded the actual sticker cut-outs, making it difficult for her to get her little nail under the stickers to pull them off. While this was still an engaging activity for Little Miss, it did take a fair bit of facilitating from me, which is less than ideal for two reasons: she’s not able to practice and master the task on her own, and I have to be right there the entire time. It’s wonderful and important to spend time doing things engaged together, but it’s also nice to be able to take some of the time your child is engaged to throw something in the crock pot or load up the washing machine.
Since finding my old sticker-books, though, has been a game-changer. Having the stickers placed in the book, they are much easier for a toddler to lift up. Plus, flipping through the pages to find many different kinds of stickers is an interesting activity all on it’s own. It reminds me of the picture dictionary books that we have, where Z will look at the pages and point to certain things so that I can tell her about it. We’re connecting while she learns new words, phrases and concepts.
Then comes the sticking fun, and the opportunity to develop her fine motor skills. I’ll provide Z with a thicker paper card (I happen to have a stack of different coloured completely blank cards that I’m using, but construction paper, or even regular printer paper would work). This makes a defined surface for sticking the stickers to, and can be used to give away to someone as a special-made card. Drawings can be done on the card before the stickers go on (if you intend on this, keep the stickers out of sight and mention until they are done with the crayons/pens/markers, as the stickers seem to be so motivating that the drawings get forgotten about). Alternatively, if there is space left without stickers (maybe the inside of the card has been reserved for this), drawings and/or words can be put there after the stickers are finished with.
This activity is perfect for “quiet” time (as quiet a time as toddlers have, anyways) and when travelling, as it’s a stationary craft with lots of opportunity to focus in on the small motor movements. I will definitely be setting aside one of these sticker albums that has yet to be seen, and saving it to bring with us on our long airplane journey to Colombia this fall. Once the sticker collection is becoming sparse, I plan on purchasing some new stickers and placing them in the albums for more easy-access sticker fun.
Cheap, easy, calm entertainment for my toddler? I’ll take it!