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Monday, July 26, 2010

Laminate Me!

Ever since I served my stint as a kindergarten teacher back in 1999 in San Francisco, I have had a fascination with laminating machines.
The smell of that plastic melting makes me want to laminate anything in sight.....original drawings can become a placemat, dried flowers can become a placemat, unwanted hair can become a placemat...the world becomes my proverbial placemat oyster.
So when I saw one on sale at Lakeshore, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take one home with me.
Then I hit a laminating funk. It had been over 10 years since I last smelled that sweet, sweet smell. The question was: what should I laminate? Peter's drawings were all accounted for, either hung to our clothesline in the breakfast nook or nestled in picture frames.
I decided instead to use this as an opportunity to get organized. I wish I had a before picture to show you what a disaster our playroom shelf space was like. Here's a photo of our empty shelf from IKEA.
Now, picture it with a million toys just shoved into each square with no rhyme or reason.
I decided to divvy up the toys by category, name them, and take a digital photo of each. Once I had the photos printed, I glued them to the name of category and laminated away.
"Eew, what's that smell?" came out of at least two mouths. Unlike me, they were not seduced by the melting plastic.
After cutting each sheet and using a binder clip to affix to collapsible bins with handles, our room was finally organized!
The best part about this system is that not only does it keep the clutter to a minimum, but because of the pictures, the kids know exactly where the toys are that they want to play with and where to put them back when they are done. Even Doodle-Bop (as his brother calls him), who is only 16 months old, will stand in front of the bins studying which one he wants to pull out and play with.
The only question left is.....what will I laminate next??

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