Sticker activities have the potential to be instant entertainment for kids. Whenever I'm at Diddams or the craft store and I see a deal on stickers, I buy them up because I know on some rainy day, I'm going to need an instant activity that interests them enough so they all down quietly.
However, if you know me, and you know Beansprouts, you know that it doesn't stop there. I can't just sit down with the kids to do a sticker activity without completely over-analyzing the situation. Each activity, each moment, has information locked away that the quiet attentive teacher can access.
This sticker activity was that moment. And this post isn't about what the kids learned from the activity. This is about what I learned...
Each child got one page of stickers and one paper. They received no instruction as to what to do, except that a couple minutes in I set the marker block on the table and said they could add to the bugs' surroundings with markers if they wanted. What did I learn about the children?
This child was challenged with the fine motor task of removing and re-applying stickers. How to help? Offer him more small motor activities and make them fun. Later that day we had clementines for snack that had a starter peel at the top and the kids were to peel the rest themselves. They did it beautifully (so did the guy who had trouble with stickers!). It was a great way for them to practice fine motor skills and be successful (and get the delicious reward at the end!).
We had another linear thinker in the group. Their brains are telling me that they are preparing to read. Children are exposed via written language in the environment to linear and left-to-right thinking. That is because as a culture that's how we read (in some other cultures this is not the case).
A lot of time people assume that I'm a preschool teacher because I "love kids" or am "patient". Um, not really. Too cliche : ) Of course the kids and I love each other, but this is not the gratification that rewards what I do. I do this because I'm so inspired by what children reveal to me throughout the day. Attentiveness to each moment unlocks the door to profound knowledge about each child, and what's going on underneath the behaviors and actions. This sticker activity gave me great insights about the participants today.