Friday, July 22, 2011

Laminating 101

I had an epiphany.  Actually, my friend is the one who had the really superb idea, and it sparked my interest too.  It stemmed from laminating.  I've been meaning to laminate a bunch of stuff for a while, like my kid's worksheets, chore charts, etc.  Laminated paper is so darn useful, because it's reusable, and therein lies its awesomeness.

I always thought I had to go somewhere and pay to get stuff laminated in a professional laminating machine.  (Silly me.)  That's just how my mom, my friends' moms, and everyone I knew did it growing up.  But, driving somewhere to get stuff laminated is a drag.  Packing up the kids to run little errands like LAMINATING is just...well, ugh. So, smart people created do-it-yourself stuff called laminating sheets.  A lot of it is self-adhesive, some is an iron-on variety.  Basically just put two sheets on either side of a piece of paper and press together.  Trim off the sides, and viola!  Instant laminating.  The best part is that you can do it at home after the kids have gone to bed, which (as we all know) is SO much more convenient than the mid-day errand method.

Then someone decided that paying $15-30 for a box of laminating sheets can get pricey, and discovered that for someone doing a lot of laminating (like home schooling moms), regular old contact paper (you know, the stuff found in the kitchen aisle and Lowe's or Home Depot (about $5 a roll) to line the insides of drawers with) does basically the same thing.  Peel off the sticker and press together.

My friend looked at me, alarmed that I'd never heard of DIY laminating before.  Meh.  So I'm behind the times.  I'll catch up eventually.  Anyway, armed with this awesome info, now I need stuff to laminate.  This is where you come in ladies.  What are you favorite websites to print out preschool and toddler friendly activities and worksheets? (Obviously focus on stuff than can be laminated, given the topic of this post.)  Do you have fun job charts and other ideas that you've come up with yourself?  Let's pool our knowledge!  This isn't limited to kid stuff.  I think I might even take my to-do list and meal planning charts off the refrigerator and laminate the tar out of em', because I can.  Because laminated stuff is reusable, and (as we all know) therein lies its awesomeness, right?



Shantel said...

Check out this blog, it has GREAT printables, most of them free!

Alyssa Harper said...

Thanks, Shantel! That website looks great!

Alyssa Harper said...

I asked around my friends and I was directed to an awesome site.

They have a phenomenal Preschool Corner where you can print off Preschool Packs, all based around a children's book, so you can read fun books and then do a whole packet of number, letter, spelling, shape activities about the story you just read. So cute! Definitely check it out!

Heather said...

If it's worksheets and the like, you can use page protectors, too. Contact paper is a bit of a pain so if I can avoid it, I do. The page protectors allow you to then put the variety of worksheets your child is currently working on in a 3-prong folder or a binder to take on the go. What I love about it is that when the concept is mastered, I didn't waste the laminating time. I can just pop another sheet into the protector if it's still in good shape and toss it if it isn't. Works wonderfully with dry-erase markers as long as you are not using crayola. (BTW, Crayola dry-erase markers are awful! Expo is always reliable.)

Alyssa Harper said...

What a good idea, Heather! I think laminating is good for small, moveable items and half-sheet stuff, but for worksheets, I think page protectors are super convenient and easy to use.

Laura said...

She has a Letter of the Week preschool curriculum that my daughter loves, and I believe she's got a decent Kindergarten something too, though I haven't looked at it much.