You might already know about the sheet protector trick — but we took it up a notch and I’m in love with all the things we can do now!
It all started when my daughter wanted to use a game-board from her phonics book. The flimsy paper wouldn’t last more than 5 minutes so I looked around for a way to protect it.
I was out of sheet protectors, so I decided to use one of these self-laminating pouches.
Not wanting to “waste” the sheet on a temporary game, I just slid in the game-board page and let the kids have at it.
Then a light bulb went off.
- What if we slid math practice pages in there?
- Or shape cards for tracing?
- Or a page that was still in the book so they could continue practicing a concept?
And what if the kids could do all this by themselves without tearing and crumpling everything in the process?!
We had been using these straight out of the box, but the laminating instructions show through the kids’ papers. To fix this, I decided to attach a plain background to the adhesive side of the “pouch”.
The pouch was larger than a standard piece of paper, so using it as a guide, I marked the paper cutter and then shortened a 9×12 piece of bristol paper.
A lighter-weight paper would work fine for this, I just happened to have bristol on hand.
After shortening the paper, I removed the yellow strip shown above. This allowed me to stabilize the paper before removing the rest of the adhesive liner.
I used a heavy-duty hole punch to smooth the adhesive down without any bubbling. A sturdy hardcover book would also work for this.
The paper was slightly wider than the pouch but I didn’t trim it until the adhesive was attached. That way I wouldn’t end up with unlined adhesive sticking to the top cover.
After trimming the excess paper, I was done!
Like with sheet protectors, we can use these to label maps or work on math problems without having to print tons of copies each week.
But what I love most about these covers is that we can use them in books!
The kids can change up their daily work by writing with a marker (great for kids who hate handwriting and/or have special needs).
Sometimes, if a child is complaining about an assignment, I’ll offer to let them use a marker with one of these covers. Suddenly, they’re ready and willing to get to work!
We also use the covers as “white boards” — they’re far less clunky than the real ones.
A few tips for using these covers:
- If the marker dries too long, a little rubbing alcohol will take it right off
- If your child’s work needs to be checked/graded, have them use a wet-erase marker; this way, their work will still be there when you go to check it!
These covers are incredibly sturdy and because they’re literally “open and go,” the kids are able to set up their activities on their own.
Even my four year old can pull out her connect-the-dot or number tracing pages, slip them inside the cover, and go to town with her favorite marker.
I have one rule for these covers: the kids can only use them for school-related activities. Otherwise, my girls would use them as drawing boards all.the.time and I would be buying new markers every week!
What do you think? How would these make your homeschool day easier?