In order to hold and control writing tools (pencils, crayons, markers), your toddler will eventually need to develop specific physical skills. To help, provide him with opportunities to practice the motor coordination of his fingers and hands. He’ll be sure to enjoy this tactile experience of peeling off and sticking on – and he’ll be working on his fine motor skills too. To begin, you can use painter’s tape. For even more fun, try colorful office supply dots or follow his interest and find some interesting stickers to encourage vocabulary and spark conversation!
- painter’s tape, office supply dots, stickers
- carpet or area rug
- several sheets of colorful paper
Step 1: Start by cutting blue painter’s tape into one-inch pieces. Stick a few pieces of the tape gently to a carpet or area rug. Invite your toddler to watch as you talk about what is going on. Use your voice to set up mystery and amazement. Encourage him to peel one of the pieces of tape off the rug and stick it to a piece of paper. You might say:
Kyle, come see what Mommy found. Oh, my! What‘s this stuck to the carpet? Sticky, sticky on my carpet! Now, watch as I peel it off. Did you hear the noise it makes? Can you peel one off?
Step 2: Use a dramatic voice and exaggerate hand motions as the tape is stuck to your finger. Demonstrate how to take it off your finger and stick to the paper. Cheer enthusiastically as the tape magically sticks on the paper. You might say:
Aaaah, look! It’s stuck to my finger! Sticky, sticky on my finger!
Watch, I can peel it off my finger and put it right here on this paper. Ta da! Sticky, sticky on the paper!
Step 3: If he doesn’t like the sticky feel, fold an edge back so that he can peel it off the carpet without it sticking to his fingers. If he is interested, you might try colorful office supply dots or stickers that are familiar to him. Talk about the shape, color or picture and encourage him to talk and say the words with you.
Step 4: Hang his Sticky, Sticky picture on the refrigerator and talk about the stickers when he brings it to your attention. You might say:
Yes Kyle, I see your Sticky, Sticky picture. That’s the red bird. Can you touch the white bunny?