We all know that kids love stickers, but, why? According to many of my first-graders, stickers are pretty, they are fun. Yes, as simple as that.
Stickers spark positive emotional responses of happiness and excitement. They are stimulating to look at and to manipulate. When linked to education, children see stickers as a tangible reward, something lasting. They are perfect to provide immediate feedback to students about their work or their behavior.
Why do teachers like stickers?
Humans need motivation. As adults, most of us become intrinsically motivated, but it is almost impossible for children. We have to accept that external rewards such as grades, praise, stickers, will drive most of their behavior. Grades and praise are important, but not enough. Children connect to real objects more than to abstract things. Stickers are tangible, they are visible proof of their achievement, and make them feel encouraged to keep working in class.
We use stickers to boost the students’ confidence, to motivate them, to reward them for work well done, as proof and evidence of their accomplishment. Stickers will also have a particularly positive effect on those children who are shy or have special needs – e.g. autism.
Physical stickers? Digital stickers?
We were used to our lovely paper stickers as a reward or motivator, but education has changed, and now our classes, most of the students’ work, and even our communication with parents happen online.
Fortunately, there are lovely digital stickers to use in a similar way and with similar results to the paper ones. Yes, we can use digital stickers to complete assignments, as a reward for something well done, as a reminder of something they have to practice, and in as many ways as we can think of.
Additionally, we can buy books, sheets or individual stickers; we can also buy custom sets and print them. We only need to choose the best option depending on what we need and prefer.
No matter whether they are paper or digital, stickers are sooo cute! Definitely, kids die for them!