Monday, November 17, 2014

Sticker Dress-up

When I was shopping for an activity book at the local bookstore, I looked over and was furious to find my toddler ripping stickers from a book of her own. Frustrated, I purchased the book. But I am happy to report a wonderful silver lining. The "Sticker Dolly Dressing" book by Usborne is a huge hit!

Our current homework routine requires that we all sit at the table and work. For my toddler, this Sticker Dolly Dressing book was a wonderful activity to work on. At first glance, I figured it was just a different context for her to play with stickers. But upon closer observation I noticed some preschool engineering learning available to her. First of all, the shapes are new. Shirts, dressing, scarves, and shoes are distinctly different shapes than our typical sticker supply which is primarily variations on circles (faces), flowers, and characters like TInkerbell. Second of all, the layers created by putting a shirt on the "dolly" first and then the skirt, sash, cape, and jewelry were pretty complicated pictures.

The engineering of the images and the stickers that Usborne did is pretty cool and provides, I think, a kind of visceral pre-engineering experience as the child works through the book. You can see from the picture that these South African women are dressed in a base layer as well as a cape and some headdresses. They also have jewelry on their legs and arms. This page started as a picture of three women wearing undergarments. A corresponding page with the stickers was marked with the page number and each woman had her own set of clothes. My daughter would choose the people she wanted to dress. Then I helped her find the stickers and told her things like "it says to put this shirt on [name] first. then this cape."

A page spread in the Sticker Dolly Dressing book.
Anna could not get enough of this Sticker Dolly Dressing book. Even when all the dollys were dressed, she still chose it as her canvas for homework sticker work. So, beyond the dolly stickers she began integrating new sheet stickers with the Sticker Dolly Dressing book. The work she was doing amazed me.

One night she chose a sheet of ladybug stickers. SHe didn't need my help for this so I just watched. She would peel the ladybug off the sheet and then look at the Sticker Dolly Dressing page and put the bug down. At first I didn't pay much attention to her. Then I started to notice some things. Anna had started sorting the bugs. She had a grouping of all open-winger ladybugs in one spot...

Open-wing ladybugs.

...closed-wing ladybugs in another spot...
Closed-wing ladybugs.
...and pink, open-winged ladybugs in yet another spot.

Pink open-wing ladybugs. 

At first I wondered if she was just copying the pattern on the original sheet of bugs but I don't think so. The ladybugs had been arranged on the ladybug sheet so that each set of 16 bugs had a green ladybug with open wings, a green one with closed wings, and so on for each colored ladybug. I saw a pattern but not one that screamed "this is how the ladybugs go!" My daughter had done her own sorting and classification of these bugs. Clearly, it is pre-biology practice because the stickers represented bugs. But also I think pre-math and pre-general science.

For Christmas, I snagged the "Sticker Dolly Dressing: Action!" book for my girl and the "Sticker Dolly Dressing: Extreme Sports" for my boy from the big list of books by Usborne. I found the Usborne page is the best place to peruse the possibilities where you'll see themes from everything from fairies to warriors! Then you can scour bookstores (brick and mortar and online) for the right one for your preschool engineer.

[Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I receive a small referral fee at no cost to you. To see how I spend the money see my "Philanthropy" page. ]

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