Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fun With Old Calendars

Every year, the C.O.W bus stops in our small town. Do you know the C.O.W bus? It stands for Classroom On Wheels - a school bus that has been hollowed out and decorated like a preschool classroom, with all sorts of learning games. And it's painted like a cow.

They had all sorts of homemade projects displayed for parents to copy, many of which used old calendars! brilliant! I know some people get a lot of those free calendars from stores with animals and things on them. We don't. We do, however, have a TON of art calendars. I get a calendar of Christ-centered art every year - Del Parson, Greg Olsen, Simon Dewey, there's even a Liz Lemon Swindle in there - and they are so beautiful i can't bear to throw them out! I've cut out some of the pictures  to hang at various occasions, but after six or seven years, you end up with a slightly overwhelming stack of art...

The project I decided to make was the calendar matching book. I thought it would be a fantastic idea for church, something to keep the kids busy and quiet during the meeting. Basically, you take the pictures out of your calendar.

Then cut out the small pictures on the back (you know, where they show you the pictures that are in the calendar)...

If you can, it's a good idea to laminate them. I couldn't, so i just pasted them onto either side of six sheets of cardstock. The C.O.W bus had theirs laminated, hole punched, and in a duotang, which made everything snug and neat. The cardstock was too thick to be workable in a duotang, so I punched holes, added two extra pieces of cardstock for a cover, and used some metal rings from the stationary section of the store. They only had one size, otherwise i would have gone for some smaller ones.

I glued the small pictures on cardstock as well, since i couldn't laminate them and i wanted them to be a little more durable. Page 1 (or the inside of the cover) is where you put all the little pictures.

Now, here's where i messed up. I had this "brilliant" idea to use magnet tape. The C.O.W bus used adhesive velcro dots, and i thought, "That's neat, but it would be a bit noisy in church. How about magnetic tape? That would be quiet! I'm so smart!"


DO NOT USE MAGNETIC TAPE! Unless you can get some ultra thin stuff that is strong enough to hold the pictures on. What i had was heavy, which made the book awkward, and it DOESN'T STAY ON!

Use adhesive velcro. Use the dots, or cut strips into small pieces. Trust me, even if these are for church, the little extra noise is worth it. If you are going the non-laminating route like i did, just make sure the pictures are securely glued, as the velcro pulls a bit.

You will need 24 pieces of one side (hook or loop) and 12 pieces of the other. I had hook on the small pictures and loop on everything else. So, put 12 pieces of loop on the front page (as above - but NOT with magnets), and the other 12 pieces of loop go on each of the big pictures, anywhere where there is empty space is good.

Then the 12 hook pieces go on the back of your pictures. The pictures are stored on the front page. Then, the kids take a small picture tile and try to find its match somewhere in the book.

My kids love it! This project can be modified using number or letter tiles in place of the small pictures - ie. match up the three with the picture with three items in it, or match up the A with the picture that starts with A. Whatever you have pictures of.

I also had a calendar that didn't have the small pictures on the back, but was fairly sturdy.  I took those pictures, mounted them on cardstock, and cut them into squares to make a simple yet challenging puzzle. I made three, and they keep the six-year-old busy for a good portion of the meeting.

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