Monday, January 11, 2010

Children's Art Materials: Reusable Stickers

If you've ever wondered about any kind of art supply to buy for or use with your children...I have it. I've used it. And I have an opinion on it.

Reusable stickers? Eh.

In theory, they're brilliant. They're usually made of a thin plastic that clings, not sticks, to the plastic-coated play surface that's provided. So, unlike the foam stickers that we have a ridiculous amount of, you can pick these up and put them back, put them on top of each other, and then put them away and play again later.

In theory.

In fact, there are usually some things keeping this from being a really satisfying creative experience, or a really successful toy. For one thing, there's rarely a storage system in place for the stickers. So you take all the stickers off of their sticker page (which it's impossible to return them to--too fiddly) and put them all on the playset--

--and when you're done, then what? If you leave them on the playset, then you can never start your play with a clean canvas, and that hinders your creativity. If you take them off, you might as well kiss them goodbye while you're at it, because how are you ever going to find them again?

I'm also not in love with the concept of the playset at all, and the scene that inevitably comes with the stickers. You're supposed to pose the dinosaurs on their Jurassic landscape, I get that, but what if you want to do something else? Have them marching single file over a rainbow (this scenario gets played out often at our house)? Buying groceries at the Supercenter? Forget about it.

I do think that I have solutions for both of these problems, but I'll have to see if it's worth it to actually make them come to life, since reusable stickers are also prone to getting filthy and ripped as well as lost.

The idea that I'm more excited about is a plan that I have to make some reusable creative surfaces to use with regular stickers. And that's in the queu after numbered beanbags (because Sydney is still struggling with number identification) and one Tooth Fairy pillow.

A Tooth Fairy pillow! Willow's loose tooth is both awesome and gross, all at the same time. Of course, that's how I feel about almost everything involving my kids, so do with that what you will.


Mac G said...

What can I say? You're brilliant. You are the lone bright spot from my college years. 'Tis a truism.

Anonymous said...

As I recall (or maybe I'm hallucinating), those reusable stickers cling pretty well to windows. And, I have some Window FX markers (in that bag of stuff that I'm giving to you and Cake) that you can use to draw your own rainbow for your dinos to march over...providing the stickers don't stick to the marker marks and make a huge mess...

julie said...

Ooh, windows! I bet they would stick well. It seems like they work on anything smooth and shiny--any scientific explanation for that?

The lone bright spot from my college years? This friend I had who taught me a little Russian, and we'd eat Rice Dream ice cream and iced animal cookies together. One time he dressed as John Hinkley, Jr. for Halloween, and I dressed as--I don't know what, exactly, except that I wore underwear and a fishnet dress--and we went to a block party in Dallas. We got separated, and I was terrified--it was the middle of the night on Halloween, mind you, and I was wearing underwear and a fishnet dress. I didn't know where we'd parked, and I had no money (fishnet dresses don't have pockets), and this was before there were cell phones. I circled that block party for hours before I finally found my friend, chilling on the curb with a drink and flirting with some girl, and when I at last limped up to him (I'm sure I was limping by that time), he was pretty much just like, "Oh, hey! Great party, huh?"