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Winter is coming. Sorry for the dramatic statement, but it is ... it’s coming. So are rainy days and lazy days and days where you just can’t seem to find another activity to entertain your kid. No parent wants to hear this and I really don’t want to say it, but realistically, more e-learning days may be coming too.
After dog-paddling my way through quarantine, I picked up on a few important life lessons. Lesson one, there is no limit to how much toilet paper you can buy. Lesson two, ice cream can see you through any crisis, pandemic or Netflix series. Lesson three, hearing “Mama I’m bored!” on an endless loop will drive you to the brink of insanity.
In a proactive strike for whatever winter has in store, I began the process of tinkering with some family entertainment options that will hopefully keep my littlest loved ones playful and peaceful. I was looking for ideas that would help harness boundless energy, require the mustering of some brainpower and ignite those creativity neurons!
The StickTogether Sticker Mosaic Kit caught my eye for a few reasons: It's a puzzle that's also a piece of art, and best of all, it involves stickers. I have a theory that half of the world’s problems and 95% of brother/sister rumbles could be solved by trading a few colorful stickers.
The colorful StickTogether Poster kits are recommended for kids ages 5 and up, and while my 17-month-old son thought the stickers were super delicious, he wasn’t quite ready to tackle the project in depth. I enlisted the help of my godchildren, Morgan and Cameron, to be my artists in residence as well as my fun barometer for this activity. They also promised not to eat the stickers, which boosted their resumes to the top of the pile.
For starters, we were all pretty impressed with how big the coded poster was. Even Rembrandt would think 40-inches-by-36-inches was a good-sized canvas. The process to play is pretty simple. Each color of sticker is coded to correspond with a letter within the puzzle. Pick your color, find the accompanying letter and stick away!
We taped our hot air balloon poster to the basement wall and got to work. A few stickers here, then a snack break. An episode of a show, a few more stickers, a couple of YouTube cat videos, more stickers — you get the idea. There are nearly 4,000 stickers needed to complete the entire design, so this isn’t something that will be completed overnight. That said, I think that’s kind of the beauty of it. We all agreed that this project was fun and is something we would come back to for a good long while.
Taking my artist's beret off and putting my mom hat back on, I personally thought this was a cool activity to keep kids occupied during rainy days or on days where they just need a minute away from their devices. These puzzles can be worked on as a solo project, though the kiddos and I thought it would be even more fun with a slightly larger group.
A quick pro-tip that I wish I would have thought of before we started: If you and the family are looking to give a StickTogether kit a go, hide the cover of the main image from your fellow artists to add a level of mystery, intrigue and fun to the process.
So enjoy cultivating your masterpiece and remember: The family that sticks together, stays together! Quite literally in this case.
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