This contact paper activity for babies and toddlers is the perfect activity to learn more about hearts and has so many benefits to young children! Little ones will work on their pincer grasp, creativity, and exploration of new sticky materials.
Sticky Heart Contact Paper Activity
Ever since my firstborn was younger, I have loved doing themed activities with them and with Valentine’s Day here, anything that has to do with hearts is on the activity plan.
The older kids and I work through our Valentine’s Day Bucket List and Valentine’s Day Movies for Kids but my 12 month old needs more hands-on exploration.
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- Contact Paper
- Painters Tape
- Foam Hearts
- Foam Sheets
- Writing Utensil, optional
What to consider before preparing the hearts activity for babies and toddlers
Depending on the age of your child, this activity can be done two ways:
1.) For a younger child (older baby or young toddler) I’d actually start by placing the hearts onto the contact paper and then have them remove the hearts.
This is more developmentally age-appropriate for them because they may lack the motor skills to actually place the hearts onto the contact paper.
2.) For older toddlers or preschoolers you can place the foam shapes in a bowl or container.
Then show them by example how you would place one heart onto the contact paper. They will then understand the task at hand and start adding their stickers.
Also, consider the age of your baby. Use larger hearts if your baby is still putting things in their mouth. I also suggest watching your baby carefully.
I opted to use hearts of all shapes and sizes because I was sitting with my daughter and watching carefully (as you should be when doing any activity on Fun With Mama.)
Preparing The Contact Paper Activity
This is a super simple activity to prep. If you have the foam hearts, you’re almost ready. If you couldn’t find the pre-cut hearts, here is an easy alternative option:
Start by taking your foam sheets, writing utensils, if you choose, and scissors. You can use any color but for Valentine’s Day specific, you could use red, pink, white, and even purple.
You can draw hearts, of various sizes, on the foam or you can just cut them out.
In my experience, it is not as easy to cut foam as you would cut paper, so I tend to trace on the foam first.
- Once you have your hearts, put them in a bowl or on a tray.
- Take the contact paper and cut it to the size you would like. We went about 12×12, but you can do larger if you’d like.
- Take a piece of painters tape in the same length as the top of your piece of contact paper and have it ready. You’re going to want to peel the first inch of the contact paper cover and use the tape to connect it to the wall. Make sure you have the sticky side towards you, not the wall.
- Finish pulling off the protective sheet and using painters tape, tape the other 3 sides to the wall.
That is it, now you’re ready to present this activity to your little one!
How To Use
This is beyond easy but will help your little one strengthen so many different skills! Children will start by picking a foam heart from the tray. They can then pick a spot on the contact paper and stick the heart to it. It may look, to your kids, like they are sticking the heart to the wall, which makes this magic!
If you can’t find foam, there are some alternatives that would be fun:
- Cotton Balls
- Pom Poms
- Construction Paper Hearts
When kids pick up the hearts, they are strengthening fine motor skills. This is helping strengthen the finger muscles that we use for so many things including eating finger foods, tying shoes, and holding a pencil.
Hand-eye Coordination is also strengthened. Children will have the heart in their hand and have to place the heart on the sticky wall. This motion requires hand-eye coordination.
Children will get all the sensorial benefits when they feel the sticky mat.
Another great skill that can be strengthened is attention span. This has a challenging aspect, to get all the hearts attached to the wall. Besides engaging them, this activity may keep them busy for more than just a few minutes!
Use this as an opportunity to talk about:
- what the shape looks like
- count how many hearts you’ve added on
- show them how the contact paper is sticky… let them place their hand on it and see how it gets a little ‘stuck’
So when should you do this Sticky Hearts Contact Paper Activity? Today, that’s when! Your kids will love it, you’ll love that it’s easy yet engaging and it’s strengthening skills! Switch it up for a different holiday or do 2D shapes for an everyday activity!