Tiny Tot Tuesday: Stickers!

Welcome to Tiny Tot Tuesday: Stickers edition! As a pediatric occupational therapist (who is currently staying home with my tiny tots), I am always on the lookout for little activities that will support good fine motor development in my kids. I like to keep most activities pretty simple, with minimal set-up and clean up.

This week’s feature is stickers! My kids LOVE stickers. Which means I have stickers all over my house. . . I try to keep it contained, but it’s not uncommon to find stickers on socks or on the couch.

Why do I love stickers so much for kids? Peeling and placing stickers utilizes the fingertip grasp, which is essential for fine motor tasks down the road like buttoning a shirt or using a chip clip.

It also helps to develop an open web space. Make an “O” with your hand and look at how your first finger and thumb make a nice circle. That is a nice open web space. It is necessary for functions like holding a pencil. Now, hold your hand like you have a key and are about to put it in a lock (called a lateral grip or key grip grasp by some). That is a closed web space. Imagine trying to write or operate shirt buttons with a closed web space!

Make those “O’s” with your hands again. Now, put them side by side to compare your web spaces. Slowly bring them up to your eyes and peer through. These are called binoculars. (haha)

Back to the stickers!

I used to always have a pack of stickers in my First Steps bag because they were such an easy, yet versatile tool. If you’re trying to get a little one to use a pincer grasp, you can place stickers on their clothes or arm and 9 times out of 10, they will try their best to get the stickers off! Or, you can be silly and put a sticker hanging off your nose and have the child try to remove it.

An older kid can place the stickers on a piece of paper. It can be random places when you’re just trying to work on the necessary coordination. Once they have the act of peeling and placing the stickers down, I like to put dots on a piece of paper and have them try to cover the dots with the stickers. That brings in a visual component to the fine motor activity.

I was trying to get the kitchen cleaned up recently and just handed each kid a sheet of stickers and a piece of paper, and they stayed busy for ten minutes! That’s an eternity in little kid time. Especially if mom is trying to get something done!

What’s your favorite simple activity for your kids?

2 Replies to “Tiny Tot Tuesday: Stickers!”

  1. We’re obsessed with stickers here as well. As a homeschool Mom, they’re also great motivators for my sticker lover. He will totally complete an assignment just because he knows he gets to put a sticker on it!

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