Sticker solutions for the classroom

Kids and stickers! They go together like peanut butter and jelly. A wonderful thing about stickers is that you can make your own, and quite inexpensively. They fill a myriad of uses in the classroom and around the house...more than just traditional ways we think of using stickers.

Great things about lickable stickers

I used stickers for all kinds of purposes in my classroom and at home with my motor-challenged daughter. If you cut the dried stickers apart and divide them into labeled envelopes, they store in little space and are easy to find. We live in the damp Pacific Northwest and I have not had trouble with the glue being activated by rain-dampened air...but I can't promise this to be true in the Deep Damp South where humidity takes on a life of its own.

Lick-n-stick stickers have some advantages over making stickers with peel-n-stick office labels, which are certainly also great.
  • Lickables are less expensive;
  • Printing on regular computer paper gives you the advantage of being able to make stickers any size or shape you like, which you can't do with office labels;
  • Kids get to enjoy that tremendous magic of being able to lick and "do it myself."

3 easy steps to making your own stickers

  • First you figure what you want to make into stickers. It might be communication symbols. It might be cute clipart. It might be name labels...or answer choices for a worksheet...or pieces to a jigsaw puzzle...or 1001 other printed objects. Print out the pages you need. You'll cut them apart later, after you've applied the glue and allowed it to dry.
  • Next, make your lick 'n' stick glue. Both recipes I'm sharing today come from Jill Frankel Hauser's book, Kid's Crazy Concoctions (a really fun book, by the way). Both use a gelatin base. If you are using this in the classroom, make sure the ingredients are allowable for your students. If your students physically can't lick the stickers themselves, as some students cannot do (or should not do, for dietary reasons or allergies, or prefer not to do, for sensory issues), you can wet the stickers on a damp sponge. Then students can stick the stickers to the paper.

Sticker Glue One

1 packet (1/4 oz.) unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. boiling water
1 Tbl. sugar
1/4 tsp. food flavoring (optional)

Pour gelatin in a heat-proof bowl. Add boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved.
Stir in sugar until dissolved. Add flavoring, stir.

Sticker Glue Two (I tend to use this one because it's just so handy)

1 Tbl. flavored gelatin dessert mix
2 Tbl. boiling water

In a heat-proof bowl, stir boiling water into gelatin mix. Stir until dissolved.

  • For both recipes, apply to the back of your sheet of stickers with a clean paintbrush (bristle or sponge, either works). Cover completely. Allow to dry. When completely dry, cut apart. Moisten stickers to use.

Just a note about the stickers and sticker glue. It sticks VERY well. We still have a social story book about visiting the dentist my daughter made 8 years ago whose stickers are stuck as tight now as ever (I'd love to share a photo of this but it's still in one of the sea of boxes still waiting to be unpacked after our move. It was firmly stuck when I packed it, anyway). I'm not sure I'd trust it for an heirloom project to be passed down through generations, but it holds for quite a long time. The glue does lose its ability to be activated by water or saliva over time, but unused stickers should still adhere well for the current school year.

How can you use stickers?

  • Make name labels for students to "write" their names on their own papers. Just use the "label" function in a word processor, find a comfortably-sized mailing label, select a full page of the same label, and type in the child's name. You can have the child choose a font that best represents them.

Due date stickers to place on homework;
name labels for students unable to hold a pencil. 

  • Sometimes you can motivate reluctant workers if the response involves placing the correct "sticker" in the answer box.

  • Kids can stick due date symbols or other messages to parents on their homework sheets before taking them home.

  • Apply lick 'n' stick glue to the back of a magazine picture. When it dries, cut the picture into distinctively shaped pieces. Give a piece of the puzzle each time the child has earned a reward. He can stick the pieces to a plain sheet of construction paper to complete the puzzle.

  • Let students stick stickers onto graphs. This can be a graphing activity for math, a reward chart, an attendance sheet or lunch sign up. There are hundreds of uses for graphs in the classroom!

  • Turn photocopies of your students' photos into stickers. These can be used in graphing or sign-in activities, or be paired with signature stickers on get-well cards for peers or staff.

  • At the end of the school day, have students fill in blank journal sheets with stickers to let their families read how the day went for their child.

  • Build a story with your child and let him add stickers that show what is happening. This is a great way to involve your child in building a social story so he knows what to expect in social situations.

  • Add stickers to artwork (especially nice for students who cannot draw with crayons or markers).Here's a timely idea...How about stickable gift tags for your holiday presents? You can find all kinds of cute downloads online; try these from We Love to Illustrate or Western Elm. There are oodles of equally darling others if you search.

What other ideas do you have for using stickers in your classroom or home? Please leave a comment below...we'd love to hear your great ideas!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! I am going to try this recipe out!