DIY Turning Cheap Workbooks into Reusable Activities

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Although I don’t usually recommend using workbooks like this to teach. They can be a great added resource for children to use during their play. I never make my children sit down and practice letters, shapes, math etc. However, these $1 workbooks are great to have on hand for your child to explore as they wish. They would also be a fun element to add into a school themed dramatic play set up. After creating these we went on a 7 hour road trip and back and they were the perfect addition to the car activities we brought along!

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We found these Learning Resources workbooks in the dollar section at Target. We find similar workbooks often in other stores as well. These ones were bound together with string. I simply cut the string and undid the binding. Then I used scissors to cut the pages. We create enough activities (and laminating a couple of these books) to make this $20 laminator from amazon the best purchase! We also bought this 100 pack of laminating sheets for under $12. Another way you could do it is by simply sliding them into sheet protectors and putting them in a binder. I decided to go this route because I liked the fact that I could have three separate books for multiple children to write on. If I were still teaching preschool I may not even bind the books so that the separate sheets could be used by many children at the same time.

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After laminating them I was deciding between three hole punching them and sliding them into a binder, or getting them bound at FedEx. I decided to get them bound and it ended up costing around $4.99 per book. I am happy we ended up getting them bound because it makes it easy for the books to lay flat. It is also nice that my girls were able to fold the books back so that the books could easily fit on their laps in the car. With laminating them at home, with the laminating sheets I listed above, it cost me approximately $6.11 per book after binding. This is a great deal for a reusable book!

NOTE: when laminating the pages make sure that they are as far over to the edge not being bound as possible. I did this with all of the pages, but I thought the covers I wanted to be centered so I didn’t on those pages which ended being a mistake because the binding went over top of where the pages were, letting in air which resulted in some bubbling on the cover pages.

She was so excited after we laminated them that she couldn’t wait to work on them before we bounded them! We decided to draw a diagram of the animals on the side so she knew what animals she was supposed to count for and could work in the book without help.

She was so excited after we laminated them that she couldn’t wait to work on them before we bounded them! We decided to draw a diagram of the animals on the side so she knew what animals she was supposed to count for and could work in the book without help.

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I mentioned above that we don’t sit down and practice letters this way. Forcing children to get the tip of the “A” to the very top and the horizontal line right in the middle can diminish interest, self confidence and create resentment. Again, these workbooks are an added resource. My four year old knows how to write all of her letters simply from learning through play, seeing them around her, and trying to imitate what she sees in books and on labels. Some additional letter activities your little one might like are the foil letters activity, throwing letters from a letter puzzle in a sensory bin and adding letter cookie dough cutters to play dough. Writing the letters will come as they explore with letters and enhance their fine motor skills.

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