Outdoor Dot Sticker Line-Up (so fun!) – Busy Toddler

A child places a yellow dot sticker onto a rainbow drawn on cardboard. Her name (KATE) is also printed in red yellow green and blue.


This activity proves it: dot stickers are amazing indoors and out. Try this outdoor dot sticker line-up to see. It’s a fine motor wonderland and a perfect activity for quiet outside play.

A child places a yellow dot sticker onto a rainbow drawn on cardboard. Her name (KATE) is also printed in red yellow green and blue.

My love of dot stickers has been long, storied, and well-documented. I love dot stickers something FIERCE. So why wouldn’t we head to the yard with them for an outdoor sticker line-up?!

I’m telling you: it was bound to happen. I can’t believe we waited this long.

RELATED: Looking for more summer activities? Check out my outdoor activities list!

What is an outdoor dot sticker line-up?

Dot stickers are (see above paragraph) one of my favorite activity supplies.

They’re inexpensive. They’re colorful. They’re pretty accessible for a wide age range of kids (think 18 months to 10 years old).

There are a lot of uses for dot stickers and each is a fine motor workout.

Dot stickers are fantastic way to build fine motor skills – the same motor skills kids will need when eventually they develop handwriting skills.

But for today, before kids are ready to put pen-to-paper, a dot sticker activity supports many of the skills they’ll need in the future as they learn to use a pencil.

An overhead photo of a 4-color rainbow and a child's hand adding a green dot sticker to the rainbow.

Why make a dot sticker activity?

That’s a fair question.

I have a policy with activities. We do activities when we need help, to start play, to get things going, or if one kid needs a little extra. I don’t do it to be a Pinterest parent or win any awards. I do it to help me (and my kids) out.

That’s what happened here.

It was a nice sunny day but play was lost, bodies weren’t moving outside, and someone was struggling to find their groove.

An activity was called in to rescue, and today it was an outdoor dot sticker line-up.

Since it was so beautiful out and I wanted to highlight the loveliness of the day in an effort to inspire her, I set this up for my daughter (5) on the side of our house hoping it would end with her heading off to play outside.

Spoiler alert: It did.

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The How-to

I grabbed a piece of cardboard for this activity because (let’s be honest) I have a lot of it lying around the house.

On it, I wrote my daughter’s name and a rainbow (why not?) using the colors of the dot stickers I have. I used paint sticks to make my lines, but dot markers and regular markers work just as great.

Finally, I taped up the cardboard, peeled the middle white part of the stickers out, and set my daughter up to work.

A child stands in front of a rainbow drawn on cardboard. Her name (KATE) is also printed in red yellow green and blue. The child is holding dot stickers.

What are kids learning in a dot sticker activity?

This activity is rooted in a lot of learning:

  • Sorting
  • Color discrimination
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Fine motor skills

This little activity is MIGHT. Little but mighty – that’s how most dot sticker activities are.

They look so simple from the outside but they’re so rich with learning when you get down deep.

What’s the best age for this?

Remember – focus on STAGES not AGES that a child is at.

My daughter LOVES meticulous work. She loves line-ups and matching and this activity has been a great fit for her since she was 25 months old. She’s 5 now and still loving this style of activity.

So don’t focus on the age of your child, focus on their stage.

Stages not ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you buy dot stickers?

I buy dot stickers from Amazon but you can often find them at the Dollar store. I get mine in .75 inch size.

What do you do if a child won’t finish an activity?

I never ask my kids to finish an activity. The goal of the activity isn’t the activity: it’s to help reset, expose to a new environment, jump start play, redirect behaviors, etc. In this activity, eventually she was done and realized how fun it was to be outside and got started playing. The activity served its purpose.

What age can start using dot stickers?

I had luck with dot stickers starting at about 16 months old but not sorting them or making line-ups until well after 2.

Susie Allison, M. Ed

Owner, Creator

Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.


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