May I present to you, the ever delightful upcycled CD cases of dry erase crayon rainbow word heaven?
All I've got here are old CD cases (I kept the CDs to do that CD weaving deal that's been on Pinterest). I used graph paper to make the handwriting lines, scrapbook paper for the front and back covers, contact paper, and some puffy velvety letters I got from Dollar General for 25cents each. I carefully pulled apart the two halves of the case, and washed them with soap and warm water to get off any gunk. Then I traced the shape of the two pieces onto graph paper and scrap book paper. Used a sharpie on the graph paper to make the handwriting guides, and then glued the graph paper to the scrapbook paper. This way, when you OPEN the cd case, it's the plastic case that you are writing on with the dry erase crayon. It wipes off super easy. I used the contact paper to attach the scrapbook/graph paper combo to each piece, and then reassembled the case.
Of course, I have misplaced my dry erase crayons. So I couldn't take a picture of how it works. But I think you get it. I wanted the crayons to fit inside the case, so everything was contained all in one packet- but there is a snag in my nefarious plot. First and foremost, CRAYOLA makes a superior product. Let's not get uppity- I know the other stuff is cheaper, but, um, hey- it's CHEAPER all the way around. Crayola knows how to do a crayon, kittens. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Secondly though, *sigh*, Crayola made their dry erase crayon large- which does mean it holds up well- but it doesn't fit inside my case. So then I thought I'd melt it down and pour it in a straw and make a smaller one. Yeah- I said it. I got a McDonald's straw because they are a little thicker, you know? But then I couldn't get the crayon out of the straw without breaking it. So then I thought I'd pour it into candy molds and just have different shaped crayons that were flat and fit in the case. Before I did this though, I put my most favorite sweat pants ever in the laundry. And when they came out I discovered that dry erase crayon isn't the most "washable". My poor sweats. My heart really heaves for them. But anyhow, that tossed out the plan to make shaped crayons. So now, I'll just have to put the dry erase crayons in a can and put them out with the cases. Unless somebody else has a better idea.
*UPDATE* I retract my statement about the dry erase crayons by the ultra fabulous most cool ever magnificent company that is CRAYOLA not being "the most "washable"". A second time through the wash (even after I had dried them) and my sweats are restored. My heart leaps for joy, and my head hangs in shame for not trusting that good old Gold and Green guarantee. I'm still feeling lazy though, and haven't found my crayons, so I'm still tossing the melting it down plan. *END UPDATE*
Why not markers? Because I'm just this side of OCD and can't stand it when the marker point gets all smeared up with other colors. But I suppose if you're not "touched" like I am, go for it!
For my second presentation, not so much a MADE IT as a COLLECTED IT, but I am proud of them. I have put together a pretty rockin' collection of small items to use for both my fine motor spelling word work centers and as math manipulatives.
Up first is my collection of natural objects. I was also trying to think of multiple intelligences. So I've got twigs, shells, acorn bits, money plant leaves, beans, and rubber fishing lure worms. Then I've got assorted pom poms and foam stickers. I'm going to tell them not to take the sticky back off the sticker. But since I only spent a buck on them at the dollar store, I'm not too worried about it.
And then in a general mish-mash, we've got hair combs, mini sticks, birthday cake candles, sparkly gems, jingle bells, and alphabet beads (I've got pipe cleaners for the kids to string the beads on), red counting chips, hair bands, googly eyes, buttons, beads, and those clear transparency counters.
I also picked up some nuts and bolts. Originally to do that whole putting alphabet letters on the nuts and twisting them onto the bolts. But then I got really lazy, so I'm not sure if I'm going to do that or not. They still make great fine motor pieces and math counters though. And word to the wise, not all soap dishes are created equal. The clam shell version on the left was found at Walmart for a sweet 97cents. And the pop open version on the right was at Target for the same price. Originally I got a ton of the Target version because I wanted the boxes to all be clear. But what do you hear in the words "POP - OPEN"? Did you hear "Super Annoying Kill Me Now Mess"? Because I sure did. And as soon as I got all giddy and tried to show my Mom the sparkly gems one, POP-OPEN in your face SUCKER! Yar. So I went back to Wally World and raided the rest of the clam shell cases. I'll have to figure out something to do with the Pop Open ones...
But I was able to use six of them for this cool find. Also at Walmart, in their scrap booking section in the 97cent bins, they had these little alphabet set stampers and also the little ink circles. I thought they were pretty nifty for a spell it stamp it station. And they don't fit in the clam shell soap dishes.
(after a little bit of work)
So what did I do? I put some smushed up plastic bags at the bottom for filler, and then used this pet bed stuff called Carefresh Natural Premium Pet Bedding. Essentially, it's ground up card board pieces vacuum packed into a plastic bag that then expands two and a half times it's size when you take it out. And it was brown, so it's like dirt, without being dirty. If that makes sense. I bought fake flowers at the Dollar Store, and used fancy duct tape to put them on my supplies. In this box, I've got scissors, red/black/blue ink pens, pencil sharpeners, and bottle glue. When I get back to school I'll add flowers to my marker sets and put them inside the flower box too. But I don't have that stuff here with me at home. I love my flower box organizer! Here's another angle:
I think I'll add more filler when I've got all the pieces in. I also have to add the date stamper and stamp pad for writer's workshop. I used the same color of flower for a single supply, so they'll put them back together in clumps and make it look preeeeeetttttttyyyyyyy! I should hope...