Sticky Feet

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This is really an update on a game we played back in January, when Veronika was almost walking but not quite. I taped a piece of contact paper to the ground in hopes of strengthening her leg muscles and held her hand as she strained to lift her feet from the sticky surface.

Now, there is no doubt about it: she’s a walker! The purpose was more to explore all the ways she could move across the sticky surface. Once again, I taped down contact paper (make sure you give your child at least 2 feet in length to explore). When she first stepped onto it, she immediately went into a crouch so her hands could feel the sticky surprise, too.

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We discovered that lifting up our fingers and toes made a fantastic sound!

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She liked to step off of it and then back on again, as if testing the difference between the sticky and non-sticky surface each time.

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She also was determined to walk solo across it, although needed a hand a few times to pry her feet loose.

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You’ll notice it intrigued big brother, too!

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This game truly never gets old. The older your toddler grows, the more you can encourage him or her to dance on contact paper, run on it, or jump on it. It’s a challenge that never grows stale.

 

Contact Collage

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Sticky contact paper might just be the perfect medium for art projects with toddlers; everything sticks instantly but there’s no glue required (i.e. no mess and no drying time). This particular project also incorporates great ways to talk about shapes, build vocabulary, and more.

To start, I taped a piece of contact paper up to the wall, and peeled off the backing so the sticky side faced Veronika. You can make this surface as small or as large as you want. Feel free to cover the full length of a wall! Veronika trotted over and was quite curious about the way the paper stuck to her fingertips.

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I gave her a pile of things to stick up on the paper, including pictures cut from magazines and fabric scraps in various textures, everything from soft cotton to bumpy burlap to fuzzy felt.

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She immediately began sticking things up, declaring, “Sticker, sticker!”

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I let her select which items to put on where. The magazine pictures interested her far more than the fabric to begin with, and I said the name of each item (“dog!”) as she applied it.

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For a little learning, I cut some of the fabric scraps into squares and others into triangles. I also pointed out the different textures as she hung them, using descriptive words for how each one felt.

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She was so proud arranging and rearranging her canvas. Although the magazine pictures were stuck in place, the fabric could be pulled off and moved elsewhere.

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My girl looked so big, standing at her artwork. This one really made me feel like I have a toddler, no longer a baby.

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What a masterpiece!

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Sticky Step

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Veronika is so close to walking, but still walks very stiff-legged when she holds our hands, her knees barely bending. This activity will not only delight your toddler, but is also great for strengthening those little leg muscles and encourage high stepping!

Tape a piece of contact paper to the floor, sticky side up. The set-up itself was of course fascinating for Veronika, who loved “helping” with the tape.

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I held her hands and helped her walk along the sticky surface. At first she looked so surprised, but once she saw my encouraging smile, she bravely marched across the contact paper, knees lifting high to pull up with each step. She kept looking back over her shoulder at me in delight, as if to say, “Mom do you feel this too?”

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Have fun with the contact paper while it is out! It’s great for sticking on lightweight toys.

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And she kept dabbling in placing her toes on it, as if just to make sure it was still sticky.

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Creative Crowns

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In our ongoing quest for the best kingly crown, Travis and I found this method – simple as can be, and no glue required!

First, cut a piece of contact paper long enough to wrap around your child’s head, and twice as wide as you want the final product to be; tape down to a work surface and peel the paper backing off only half of the sticky paper.

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I set Travis up with a variety of materials that he could adhere to the contact paper, using what we had in our craft bin: pipe cleaner pieces, yarn pieces, bits of construction paper and felt, and strips of decorative washi tape. Patterned fabric pieces and stickers would also be great for this craft!

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He set about arranging the items on the sticky paper. Ideally, the pieces will point upwards like the points of a crown, but Travis preferred some of his sideways instead.

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This was a great chance to talk about the difference between horizontal and vertical as he worked!

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Once Travis declared his crown finished, I removed the remaining paper backing and folded the sticky paper over on itself; he loved helping seal in the decorations.

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Simply use clear packing tape to fasten the crown into a circle, then let your child be king or queen for the day!

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Sticky Winter Wall

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We loved this idea so much from our blogging friend at D.I.Y. Unlimited Fun that I had to put the game together right away for Travis! Luckily, I keep contact paper on hand for precisely these situations.

I attached a large rectangle of contact paper to a low wall, sticky side out, and provided Travis with various “wintry” items – cotton balls, cotton pads, and white q-tips.

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He barely needed me to demonstrate before avidly diving in to create a winter scene.

When we made a snowman, he came up with the cotton pad hat and q-tip arms all by himself.

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I also showed him how to make snowflakes with q-tips in a pretty pattern.

 

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His favorite discovery was that the cotton balls left behind a bit of fluff if you pulled them up off of the contact paper. He loved dabbing one onto the paper several times, leaving a “snowy” scene behind.

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Thanks for the fantastic idea!