Performancing Metrics

There's A Book

numberstickerbookHow and why would we want to incorporate activity and sticker books into our family reading rituals? Activity and sticker books are often used by parents as “babysitters”, but when used appropriately they may help a beginning reader make connections between visual images and words on a page with reality. In fact, these valuable resources can be an excellent teaching tool when used in conjunction with reading daily, especially for children who may struggle with some form of a learning disability.

turkeybirdreadingwithbaker3Turkeybird’s Struggle
Our sweet Turkeybird was an early reader, but a late talker. He was diagnosed with a form of Autism called “Hyperlexia” at just around 20 months of age. It basically boils down to him reading by the time he was just older than a year old, but not being able to communicate verbally or interact socially until he was a bit older. I know you’re thinking, “he couldn’t talk, but he could read???” Yes, he would literally read words off of pages but hardly say hello when greeted by another family member or friend.

We sought the aid of a speech therapist and children’s counselor not knowing how else to help him. They used evaluations and problem solving games to help him express visually the words he was struggling to connect verbally. This continued for a few months and shortly thereafter our sweet Littlebug was born. For some reason, maybe a lack of attention, triggered in him a greater desire to communicate with us, but he still struggled to connect the “truck” on the page with the truck in his bedroom.

Soon, we moved across country and no longer had the aid of outside therapists and counselors. I decided there had to be something else that I could do as a parent to help him make those little connections. While looking through some “teaching” books and materials on the internet one day I came across some sticker books. The Turkeybird has always been a huge fan of sticker and activity books. What kid doesn’t love a sticker as a reward for a trip to the doctor or for a job well done? This was it, I thought! I ordered some and the work began.

Work Together!!!
Working with The Turkeybird was the key to progression. Children learn the most when they are read to or when they are taught directly.* Starting with the above pictured Sticker Activity book and moving on to many others, we worked together.Every day, while Littlebug slept, we sat down together at the table and went through the pages of the books one at a time. The first book focused on numbers, but also used “real” life objects to illustrate the numerals. Even from the beginning I tried to allow him to place the stickers in the appropriate places and verbally tell me what each was. After this we would go on excursions, be them around the house or to different venues (the park, petting zoo, etc.), and we would point out the different things he found in his activity books. Soon, he began to connect the dots.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
abcstickerbookTo this day we still use the sticker books on a daily basis. We read on a daily basis. And we play together on a daily basis. It’s important to create routines in all children’s lives, but especially in those that struggle with some form of learning disability. Even as adults we benefit from a daily routine and continued persistence with a difficult task. Why would it be different with a child?

Everyday the Turkeybird looks forward to our “mini-school” sessions and asks for the next task. This shows me that he is making connections and learning more everyday. He loves to learn and I can tell when I see his face light up at the mention of crayons, stickers and books.

The End Result
The Turkeybird is talking more now, carrying on long conversations with non-family members and can now connect the words on the pages in his books to real life objects.  His social skills have progressed far beyond what was originally thought he would be capable of at this age. He continues to love reading and learning and his mom continues to love to read to and teach him.

I’m not saying that sticker and activity books will solve all your learning/teaching dilemmas, but if done right they can’t hurt. I’m not a professional, just a mom, and I make no presumptions about how effective these activity books may be in your own child’s life. Make sure to use them with your son, daughter or student; this is where you will find the best result. Children love to be taught, they love attention and exultation when they’ve accomplished something they’d never been able to do before. Interact and show you care about the outcome. And then, do it all over again.

This post was presented as part of the Share A Story Shape A Future Day Two. Make sure to stop by The Book Chook’s site for more posts pertaining to Literacy My Way/Literacy Your Way!

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.

*Referenced & paraphrased from: On the Road to Reading: A Guide for Community Partners – December 1997

17 Responses to A Sticky Situation – Using Activity and Sticker Books

  1. […] A Sticky Situation – Using Activity and Sticker Books […]

  2. Book Chook says:

    It must have been such a difficult time for you when Turkeybird was first diagnosed. Thanks for sharing what you learnt from that experience! I agree that I have usually looked upon sticker books as babysitters, yet you proved to me they can become an integral part of a specific learning program.
    .-= Book Chook´s last blog ..Sharing Stories Using Online Editors =-.

  3. Petty Witter says:

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, what an inspirational post.
    .-= Petty Witter´s last blog ..NOT JUST MOTHER’S DAY. =-.

  4. Gina says:

    I too was an early reader (according to Mom) but I believe my quiet side was more due to shyness than anything else. Glad to see the Turkeybird is coming out of his shell more! Regarding sticket books….almost all kids love them at some stage! I definitely agree that they are great for making connections in young minds. It’s like an early version of flashcards but with even more interaction. Thanks for sharing! =0)
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..In My Shopping Bag (19) =-.

  5. Thanks for sharing such a personal story, Danielle. My daughter, now 8, was not unlike your son … though like a typical girl she ALWAYS has something to say. She could read and use words well beyond her years, but she didn’t always understand the context. She also has a diagnosis on the Autism spectrum. The “spillover” to the social side is tough to watch and remains a gap that we hope some day will close. Engaging them – even just connecting with them – makes all the world of difference. I know for my daughter she KNOWS she is different, but knowing she is loved no matter what helps, too.

  6. Janelle says:

    What a creative way to work with your son. Thanks for sharing this part of your life.
    .-= Janelle´s last blog ..Storytelling and GoodNites Bedtime Theater: Iggy’s Next Adventure Contest (and a Giveaway) =-.

  7. Gillian says:

    Such and inspirational story! Good job on thinking outside of the box and finding what works best for the Turkeybird. You have come so far with him, great job Mom :)
    .-= Gillian´s last blog ..Favorite Photo Friday =-.

  8. Wow, what a great post! I’m happy that you found such success with sticker books. We also love them but I wish they were less expensive!
    .-= Melissa Taylor´s last blog ..Video Games and Learning =-.

  9. NotNessie says:

    Wow. What an inspirational story. My girls are hopelessly addicted to stickers, but for them it’s just fun and games. It’s great to hear about them being used as a literacy tool.
    .-= NotNessie´s last blog ..Fun Finds: Book Covers =-.

  10. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! It’s so nice to hear that our story can touch the lives of others. Especially when it can inspire others in their own journey in life. Thank you again!

  11. Tif says:

    This is truly an inspirational post! I love that you decided to think outside the box, try something a little new and different, AND have had success because of it!! Got to love that Mom mind!! :)

  12. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story. It just goes to show that parents know their children best, and need to trust their instincts (and ask a lot of questions) when it comes to challenging circumstances.

    It truly is amazing how something like stickers could make such a positive difference in a child’s life. We so often seek out that one large quick fix, but it’s often the little things we do that mean the most.

    Thank you so much for allowing us to take a peek inside your world. You’re an inspiration to us all.
    .-= Dawn Riccardi Morris´s last blog ..Share a Nonfiction Book Today! =-.

  13. Deborah says:

    Really fantastic! Now I’m feeling more motivated to keep on trying to have the one on one learning time with our little guy! Thanks!

  14. Awww. what a great mama you are! Isn’t amazing how they really are little sponges who want to learn, want to engage and crave that one-on-one time with mom or dad. How incredible that you worked so hard to figure out ways to reach him and to help him! You are amazing and it sounds like your little Turkeybird is just like his mommy :)

  15. […] A Sticky Situation – Using Activity and Sticker Books (The story behind my Turkeybird’s struggle with a learning disability.) When I Was Young: The Books That Got Them Started (A wonderful recap of some of the great reviewers I’ve had on so far!) Make A Lasting Impact on a Child’s Life: Read to Them! […]

  16. By sharing our life’s struggles, we understand our journey and let others glimpse at our life. Inspiration, lessons, and mentoring can occur when one is brave and giving enough to do this. Thank you for opening up your life.
    .-= Reading Countess´s last blog ..Making Memories =-.

  17. […] Turkeybird Speaks: “I love sticker books! Did you see the discussion all about how sticker books helped me to learn to speak? It was great, if I do say so myself! Sticker and activity books are some of my favorite types of […]

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