My son is at the stage where he loves to peel, rip, peel, rip!

I usually don’t mind when he does those because that means he’s also working on his fine motor skills. For books, I have observed that he likes ripping books with glossy pages (think magazine type), and thankfully, we only have a few of those out, so for now, since he started flipping pages, he has only ripped 2 books in total (and both bought on sale, whew!).

I have thought about whether or not I should give him more paper to rip, but after much thinking, I feel that giving him paper to rip at this age gives him the wrong understanding of what is done with paper. At his age (1.5 months), it is quite hard to communicate that some paper may be ripped, while some are not. So while I don’t react when he rips his favorite book as of the moment (Dig Dig Digging!), we don’t offer any more paper and instead focus on peeling activities.

Instead, we just show him that we tape the ripped pieces afterwards – the perfect opportunity to model something!

Anyway, so far, it is working — he is not really craving for more papers to rip, and enjoy the satisfaction of peeling.

Here’s what we have for him:

1. WALL DECALS — we have wall decals on some walls so he could peel and put back as much as he likes! I got the flora set from Daiso, and my observation is because of the odd shapes, he sometimes has a challenging time peeling them, and a harder time putting them back, most especially the flowers because they tend to roll on his finger after he has peeled them. But he likes the challenge anyway, so we just leave them there. An easier wall decal would be basic shapes, like the one I had since he was a baby (you may see how ours look like HERE). His round decals are incomplete already, he has already taken off some of them. I just leave them there and wait for him to take them all off. You may get simple shapes of wall decals from White Walls PH.

It’s important to choose what kind of stickers you allow on the wall – wall decals or washi tapes would be the best bet for me as they don’t leave marks once they’re peeled. Masking tapes and regular tapes on other hand, usually damage the paint of the wall.

2. MAGNETS — My son loves his magnets! We started with my magnets I collected from our travels (large enough not to be swallowed – this is important because magnets are dangerous when ingested), but I later found magnets of basic shapes from a tangram set from a trip abroad, so that’s what we use. Where can you put magnets? We use regular tin cans (whatever cookie can or candy can I found at home), but you may also use magnetic whiteboards, or you can buy a strip of magnet (a magnet tape) and put it on a board.

3. VELCRO – This was first initiated by my son, with his shoes! So I put out shoes with velcro that no longer fit him, and he loves working with them! You may also use wallets with velcro, or anything with velcro.

This one is a traditional Montessori dressing frame, which I got on sale. It’s just a frame with fabric and velcro. I put it out but my son’s not minding it as much.

4. REUSABLE STICKERS – These are similar to wall decals, except that instead of the wall, you work with paper.

We have two kinds: a smaller one called STICKER FUN, which I bought in the US (truthfully speaking, they hardly stick, but I love the size!), and a larger one (I like this one better, but it’s too big for travels) called REUSABLE STICKER PAD from Melissa and Doug. You may get yours locally from Ogalala World or Hobbes and Landes.

5. WASHI TAPES – My son has been working with washi tapes for months now. It started with washi tapes that I used as stacking rings on a stick, but he eventually figured out how to peel a roll (I wish I could have taken a video of when he first discovered it — he was really satisfied and pleasantly surprised!), and later on, I would see washi tapes taped on the plastic box near the stick where the tapes were. Now, I put tapes for him to peel on a whiteboard, but also put out the rolls in case he wants to peel them himself.

6. BANANAS – Last but not the least, this is his favorite food to peel. You can also work with other fruits like oranges or lemons, but this is the fruit he loves the most and is native to our country, so this is what we work with. If you noticed, this bunch is missing a banana! That’s because he took it out even before I took a photo, haha.

And there he is…doing the peeling work.

Hope this gave you some ideas for your toddler.

If I may also add, nothing beats REAL LIFE at REAL CONTEXT opportunities. Whenever we have to open something these days, say peeling the tape from a sealed box, opening a wrapped present, removing stickers from bottles or boxes, etc – we let our son do it. He’s more than willing to do it, and we’re more than happy to share the work. Win-win!

If you have more ideas, please feel free to share! 🙂 Till the next blog!

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