With 1 year olds, you definitely don’t need to overcomplicate things. They can’t follow more than a 1 step direction so aim for simple and easy to follow activities.
Stickers are a great way to work on your child’s fine motor skills (using the small muscles of your hands and fingers to grasp and manipulate objects). They have to use their pincer grasp (thumb and pointer finger) to pick up the sticker and place it on the paper. It also takes good hand-eye coordination to pick it off the sticker sheet and place it on the paper.
It’s just as important to incorporate language in these activities whenever you can. When your toddler is doing a new activity and seeing, touching, or hearing new things, that’s when you want to start building their vocabulary. Just keep talking through the activities and your toddler will pick up these new words in no time.
This activity is so simple to create and your toddler will love it!
What you’ll need:
- Page of stickers – I found Christmas stickers at the dollar store
- Paper – construction or printer paper
What to do:
Have your child seated at a small table or in their high chair/activity chair. I like to use the high chair because it keeps my wild 16 month old contained when doing these types of activities. Kids at this age can only hold their attention span for 3-4 minutes so I can’t expect her to sit that long if she’s not strapped in.
Demonstrate the activity for them first. Hold the sticker sheet, peel off a sticker, place it on the paper, and then push it down. They will then be so excited to try it on their own.
Hold the sticker sheet and have your toddler peel the sticker off. You may need to start to peel it a little to assist them, but let them take it off the paper. When they have it between their 2 fingers, have them place it down and push down with their finger to make it stick.
While you’re doing these activities, it’s important to talk to your toddler as much as possible. These are valuable times for them to pick up new words and start understanding more. Here are some examples of things to say during the activity.
Give action words, like pick up, put down, push down.
Name all the pictures and things that your child will be using and looking at: Put the sticker on the paper, there’s Santa and a Reindeer, you’re using your fingers to pick up the sticker.
Ask (and answer) questions: What does Santa say? Ho Ho Ho. What color is this sticker? Purple. Do you like the stickers? Yes. Do you see all of the stickers on the paper?
Repeat all of these words over and over so they are hearing them multiple times.
That’s all. Super simple activity, but works on developmental fine motor skills, attention, hand eye coordination, and language.
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