Walk Talk Play’s All-Star Toy of the month for July is Melissa and Doug Sweets & Treats Sticker Pad!
This tasty toy is not only packed with hours of entertainment (perfect in the 🚙 or even when mama just wants to drink some ☕️), but you can also 🎯 a ton of skills with your little one, including:⠀
🍬 expanding vocabulary⠀
🍬 following/giving directions⠀
🍬 asking/answering questions ⠀
🍬 engaging in pretend play⠀
🍬 using fingers to pinch/peel⠀
In this article we wanted to highlight some ways in which this toy can be used to encourage use of big muscles and gross motor skills. We hope you enjoy these ideas and would love to hear from you if you have your own.
Note: This is not skilled therapy or intervention. The intention of this article is to show how this toy can be used for purposeful play to encourage movement. Please provide supervision and support to your child when playing these activities.
1. Vertical Surface
Working on a vertical surface is a great way to work on proximal muscles like shoulders, shoulder girdle, and core. Strengthening these muscles can help your little one improve and develop their fine motor skills. Tape the target on a window or wall, and your little won’t even realize how hard they’re working. Tape just out of reach and your kiddo will have to stretch, balance, and raise up on their toes to reach.
2. Standing Balance on a Squishy Surface
Add a pillow, balance pad, or couch cushion and watch those feet and ankle muscles work!
Place the stickers away, flat on the floor to add a step up/down; or if your kiddo is ready, practice jumping off.
3. Encourage Single Limb Balance
Does your little one have difficulty with stairs, curbs, or stepping over objects? They may benefit from play that encourages working on balance on one leg. Placing one foot on a step or cushion while balancing on the other leg is a great place to start.
Just look at how hard Coco’s left leg is working in this video.
When your kiddo is ready, try placing the sticker on their knee or top of their foot (this is harder) and see if they can lift it up to grab it, balancing on one leg.
4. Practice Step Ups
If you feel comfortable, you can practice stepping up and down from a higher stool. Notice how Coco’s mommy is very close by for help, providing support when needed for safety.
5. Do an Obstacle Course!
This sticker pack is very motivating and fun, which makes it the perfect toy to add to an obstacle course and work on gross motor skills. Just simply place the stickers on one side and the page to decorate on the other with obstacles in between and voila!
Here, Coco is working on jumping, squatting, and step ups/down. Adding the sticker pack causes her to have more interest, and thus, be more willing to repeat and practice these skills!
Here are some other sticker pads that kids love!
Perform activities recommended by Walk, Talk, Play at your own risk with appropriate adult supervision provided. Walk, Talk, Play is not responsible for any injury caused while performing these play activities.
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