Let’s face it: kids love stickers! They like them if they are with their favorite cartoon characters or even if they are simplest round color stickers! Is it because they are sticky? Who knows!?
What we can do as parents (and teachers) is: use this affection to introduce new knowledge to our kids.
This page holds a number of ideas how to use stickers as learning manipulatives in all areas of studying – math, language and letter recognition, as well as arts and science.
Stickers are simple, inexpensive, colorful and most of all fun!
They will add to your child’s willingness to cooperate in learning.
The child will be learning not even knowing it! 🙂
# 1 – Using Stickers as Counters
Learning Toddlers and Preschoolers Counting the Easy Way. Depending on the age of the child, you can use stickers as counters.Pick a smaller number of counting cards for toddlers – trace numbers 1 – 5 on paper and mark them with dots or some other shape where they should place stickers. Mark it especially if you are just starting to introduce counting to them. This way it will be more like a game and means a lot for smaller kids.For preschoolers or older kids, trace numbers 1 – 10 (or more) and ask them to stick as many stickers as written on each card.
If you would like to make reusable counting cards and counters from stickers (like in the picture), you can see instructions here: Dora the Explorer Reusable Counting Cards.
#2 – Turning Stickers to Memory Game
Practice concentration in children. Use your kid’s favorite cartoon character to create some memory cards. Cut the squares from construction paper and ask them to stick one sticker on each square. Make sure that you have 2 of each picture. If necessary, you can purchase two sets of same stickers.You can add in writing what picture represents. A younger kids probably will not know the meaning of the words on the cards but you’re planning to make those memory cards last longer than just one day, right? :)For a tutorial how to make memory cards from stickers look at Dora the Explorer Memory Cards from Stickers.
#3 – Use Stickers for Letter or Number Recognition
Tracing with stickers. Draw or print an outline of the letter or a number you’re currently working on with your child. Ask them to place stickers inside the outline and trace written sign. Show them in which direction they should add stickers – follow a direction of hand written letters.This activity is especially good for smaller kids like toddlers whose fine motor skills are still not developed in such a way that they can write properly. But this is a fun way to assist them in letter and number recognition.Another fun way to play with stickers and letters is for name recognition where you either write or print out child’s name and let them trace it with stickers. You can find a sample at Teaching Ace.
Children can also learn shapes using these simple printable templates found at Confessions of a Homeschooler.
#4 – Creating Worksheets with Stickers
Simple or complicated depending on child’s age.
There are many different ways you can use stickers in worksheets:1. place two of each on the page and ask a child to connect pairs (example on Tinkerlab)
2. turn stickers into patterns and ask them to continue pattern (see on Tot Treasures and Stay At Home Educator)
3. use similar stickers in different sizes and ask child to circle the biggest or the smallest
4. use 2 or more same stickers and one different and ask the kid to circle sticker that is different from others (same exercise for finding same stickers), example found on Stay at Home Educator.You can even ask older kids to make worksheets with you for their age pairs or younger siblings.
I have used them to create this Dora the Explorer Write and Wipe book as a part of Dora the Explorer Busy Bag.
#5 – Sort Stickers by Color or Shape
Another great activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Along with the fact that toddlers and preschoolers will love to play with colorful stickers, they will learn about colors or shapes not even knowing it! 🙂 Use very clear and simple directions to assist them sort by asked attribute. Another thing that will develop with these activities is fine motor skills. It’s not easy for little fingers to peel the sticker and stick it where it suppose to go. So be patient and don’t mind errors! 🙂 Use them for learning!Foam Stickers are excellent for this type of activities as they come in many different colors.
#6 – Turning Stickers to Stick Puppets
Great Way to Create Cheap Puppets! Imaginative play is important for little ones. And not much is needed to turn stickers to stick puppets. Just craft or popsicle sticks, a piece of cardboard and stickers! Simply place a stick on the cardboard, stick the sticker over in a way that it sticks all around the stick on the cardboard, and you’re ready to play! I love these animal puppets found on
Do you have a behavior chart or reward charts at home? You can use one, “special” pack of stickers just to reward your child for a job well done! At The Teacher Mama is explained how to make a simple chart at home. For teachers, especially for elementary school, these stickers can be used as both reward and motivational stickers.
#8 – Story Telling with Stickers
Creativity, literacy and fine motor skills development all in one activity. Help your child create his / her story using stickers. Choose one of the child’s favorite cartoon characters (or animal stickers!) and help them create a story background with that sticker.You can give them an example but try to influence child’s story as little as possible. Ask them to stick one sticker on each page of a “book” and to draw a background. Let them write a story that follows the picture on each page. Or if they are too young for writing, you write it down for them as they tell you the story.It really doesn’t have to be bestselling novel. It might even be silly. But it really doesn’t matter, does it?
#9 – Creating Mosaics with Stickers
Stickers are great for creating mosaics, specially if you don’t want glue all over the table and your kids. 🙂 There are precut and outlined “pictures” where kids stick their stickers on the marked place, like these from Alex Toys. An option is to make your own mosaics with generically shaped stickers. Or you can use stickers for mixed media mosaics. Options are endless and only limited by child’s creativity!
Have you used stickers as Learning Tools?
If you have an idea for using stickers in a way not mentioned,
please share it in comments!
Other Fun Ideas to Try:
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Mihaela runs Best Toys 4 Toddlers blog and loves to come up with new ideas how to use old toys her 2 daughters keep leaving on the floor to slip over. She loves them despite the fact that they call her mommy few hundred times a day, and it makes her nuts.