Stickers are a fun and easy way to encourage kids to improve fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and concentration.
They are also a wonderful and inexpensive tool for teaching letters, numbers, and and characters!
We have an excessive amount of stickers from the dollar store, and most of the time, my kids do whatever they want with their stickers!
However, I always make sure to reserve some for guided learning activities.
In this post, I’ll show how to use stickers for various ages and how to use teach language and pre-writing skills.
Like most of our hands-on activities, each of these examples take only a few minutes to set up!
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What you need for sticker tracing activities:
Activity 1: Sticker line / shape trace
Tracing simple lines and shapes is the most basic skill that a toddler or preschooler should start with.
If a child develops confidence with tracing simple designs with stickers, then they will be more likely to enjoy and concentrate on the activity.
Yesterday, I took my 2yo to the laboratory for blood work, and these happy face stickers kept him calm and brave during the test!
These are easy to pack for a “busy bag” activity that you can take to doctor’s appointments, restaurants, and car or air travel!
- For toddlers who don’t know colors yet but working on fine motor skills, can just have them stick any color and sticker to various lines and shapes.
- For kids who know their colors, use one color per letter. Otherwise it could be hard for some kids to see the letter when it’s excessively colorful!
- Peel outer edge of sticker sheet so it’s easier for little fingers to remove. Can also cut into smaller pieces.
If it seems too easy, they may finish it quickly and get bored – a sign that you can move onto something more complex, such as letter tracing!
Activity 2: Sticker letter trace in Korean
Here’s a sensory literacy activity for my 2-year-old trilingual son! The Korean alphabet has simple clean lines, and sticker tracing encourages kids to touch each letter in a fun way!
Since my son knows his colors, he can confidently match the stickers to the paper while strengthening his fine motor skills and getting exposed to Korean.
We will talk about the phonetic sound of each letter as well as words that begin with the letter.
The next photo shows a Montessori-inspired tray for my son.
Black dots on right bottom corner helps with correct orientation of each letter.
Activity 3: Sticker letter trace in Chinese
When my daughter was 3 years old, I took advantage of our stash of colorful happy face stickers to trace Chinese characters related to happiness!
Of course, you can also use regular dot stickers, but I think the context of the happy face helps with remembering the objective.
Here are the words that my daughter focused on for this quick, hands-on Chinese lesson:
- 高兴 (gāoxìng / happy)
- 快乐 (kuàilè / happy)
- 欢乐 (huānlè / happy, joyous)
- 笑 (xiào / smile)
For this activity, I wanted the Chinese characters to stand out on the walls of our house. Here are the simple steps:
- Print or write each character very large on a blank sheet of paper
- Tape to wall – some place visible so that your child will notice it!
- Affix happy face stickers along characters strokes
- Optional: place stickers according to stroke order
Even though my 老大 (lǎodà / oldest child) learned the 乐 character almost a year ago, this was the first time she noticed that the character 小 (xiǎo / small) as part of the close-up and enlarged 乐 character!
As you can see, additional benefits of this activity include:
- Improving fine-motor skills and precision with the little stickers
- Attention to each character stroke
- Arms and core strengthening by standing and keep the arms up!!
I had taped the paper at eye level for 老大, but she actually asked me to tape it up higher so that she could climb on her step-stool.
I guess she really wanted to work on upper body exercise! 哈哈 (hāhā / haha)!!!
The next day, 老大 finished the other characters with 老二 (lǎo èr / second child) observing….well, actually trying to tear it down every few seconds!
He might look like he’s involved in this photo, but actually he is trying to peel off the happy face stickers haha.
Here are the finished products!
In hindsight, I wrote 高兴 too small. As you can see, the 口 (kǒu / mouth) inside of the character appears more like a circle.
I think the other characters came out great though!
Have you tried any of these sticker tracing activities with your kids?
If you try this activity, please let us know in the comments below! What age(s) are your kid(s) and how did it go? We’d love to hear about your learning experience!
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