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My kids love stickers. I love stickers. Here’s how we make sure they last…
I love stickers so much, that I might have a sticker problem. I’m not usually an impulse buyer, but whenever I’m out shopping and I see stickers that appeal to me, I buy them. Fortunately, stickers aren’t terribly expensive.
However, this means that I have ended up with a drawer full of them. I justify this to myself by saying that peeling them and sticking them is a great way for little ones to work on fine motor skills. Also, my kids love finding ways to incorporate stickers into their art creations.
Whenever they successfully complete an assignment, I let them choose a sticker or two as a reward. For a while I was letting them put the sticker at the top of the assignment like my teachers used to do when I was in school. However, there were some drawbacks.
The kids loved choosing and applying the sticker, but then what? I could tell that it seemed like such a waste to them, to put it at the top of a spelling test that may never be looked at again. Still, I didn’t think about it too hard.
Then one day, I found myself in a first-grade classroom of a local private school. It wasn’t during school hours so no teachers or students were there. My 3-year-old, my baby and I were there biding our time while my 6-year-old and 5-year-old were in a music lesson.
That’s when I saw them! Handmade sticker-books! Each with a student’s name on them. They were just squares of construction paper, laminated and held together with a binder ring. What a simple, but excellent idea! It was so obvious, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of it before.
As soon as I could, I made each of my girls their own sticker-book. Now whenever they successfully complete an assignment they choose their sticker and put it in their sticker-book. That way they can collect them, flip through their book, and look at them any time they want!
I’ve even noticed that my 6-year-old has a certain plan with her sticker-book as she tries to put stickers that she considers categorically related onto the same page. Then she tries to make up a story that the book is telling. Kids are so creative!
HOW TO DO IT
To make our books, I used construction paper and some peel-and-stick laminate paper that I just so happened to have in my craft-supply closet. I don’t have a laminating machine, but I hear they are great. You can also go to a local print shop and pay to have things laminated, but if you laminate things often it can add up.
Also, I didn’t have any binder rings and I didn’t want to wait to go to the store to buy any. Instead of using those, I punched holes in the construction paper with a hole-puncher and tied the pages together with yarn.
All things considered, I haven’t been a homeschool mom for very long. I still learn so much from all kinds of teachers, from all kinds of school! This time I learned something from a private-school first-grade teacher just by being in her classroom, even though she wasn’t there.
I expect my kids to be lifelong learners, and there are few ways better to teach than by example. I love learning new and interesting ways to do things.