*Requires adult supervision.
Follow the child, they will show you what they need to do, what they need to develop in themselves and what area they need to be challenged in. The aim of the children who persevere in their work with an object is certainly not to ‘learn’; they are drawn to it by the needs of their inner life, which must be recognized and developed by its means.-Maria Montessori
Picking and peeling, such as stickers, is great for fine mother skills and finger strengthening. When E and V were younger, I would carry painting tape to stick to tables for them to remove at restaurants when we went out. A quiet activity that allowed them to be part of the family conversations yet also gave them something to work on when they wanted something to do.
Over time, the tape peeling turned to stickers as well as encourage other sorts of peeling, like oranges. They began to find their own challenges when it came to picking and peeling, such as removing the little slam protectors off the cabinet doors. This is, well, annoying. My cabinets that were once silent now create a little bang that rattles my nerves when others, unaware of this, use them. Something needed to be done as they had a need and were meeting it their own, but they needed a little redirection to something more appropriate.
I realized that puff paint on a smooth source may be just the thing those little fine-motor-seeking fingers needed.
Using a plastic lid, glue, and puff paint I drew various designs; lines, zig-zags, and dots.
As first mentioned, this is something that is done under supervision only. It’s not allowed in the bedrooms nor in the vehicle (unless someone it back there or watching the whole time). When first introduced I showed how to use it as well as provided a dish for them to place the removed paint that they could then dump in the trash.
I would highly recommend trying this for those who pick skin or eyebrows as it may fill that need while preventing harm.
Do you have a little pickers at home who may enjoy an activity like this?
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