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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Bags in Preschool

Well, another Valentine's Day is now behind us. Numerous valentines were passed out, goody bags were carted home, and who knows how many cookies and cupcakes were consumed.  We graphed conversation hearts, made cards for family members, and practiced some fine-motor skills with popsicle sticks, sugar cookies, and frosting. All that is left from the day are some residual candies left after my teenage sons commandeered my own Valentine's bag once I got home from the school.

This year we tried a new type of Valentine's bag.  I decided that I wanted to try making bags out of two layers of clear Contact paper with tissue paper hearts in between the layers.  The plan was to layer the items between the Contact paper, fold the paper in half, and then tape the edges to make it into a bag.  It looked so cute and easy.

Indeed, they did turn out cute.  But they were not easy.  In fact, that Contact paper just about drove me to madness right there amongst the Little People.  Granted, this was my first experience with the Little People and Contact paper, so I had not yet learned some of the helpful hints that can prevent one's Contact paper experiences from being fuel for a classroom breakdown.

The first hint I learned was to tape down the Contact paper before the kids start putting decorations on it. I learned this the really hard way.  At first I blithely thought I could just lay the Contact paper on the table sticky-side up and warn them to try not to touch the paper too much.  Bless their hearts.  I had one Little Person on the edge of tears as she desperately tried to get the sticky paper off of her hands, arms, clothes and ultimately out of her hair.  I finally was able to wrestle it away from her without causing any Contact Paper Removal Abrasions and cover it with a second piece, trapping no less than three or four or her hairs in the process.   Finally I shooed all of the children away while I took several deep breaths and started over by taping the contact paper securely to the table (sticky side up, of course).

The second hint I learned was to adhere the second sheet of contact paper on very carefully.  I learned that it was best to first just peel back an inch or so of the backing paper on the second sheet all the way down one edge.  Once this long inch of paper was exposed, I lined it up with the already-decorated sticky paper (which was still taped to the table) and pressed this small part together.  Then I slowly pulled the rest of the backing paper off while running my other hand down the papers to seal them together.  Trust me, this is much easier than taking all of the backing off of the second sheet and then trying to maneuver it right on top of the first sheet and then trying to adhere them smoothly together.

Now that I've figured out a few tricks to make working with the Contact paper easier, I might conquer these additional Contact paper ideas found on Pinterest.  They might end up containing some air bubbles and a few stray hairs, but I'm sure they will be wonderful:

Source: thechocolatemuffintree.com via Jaclyn on Pinterest

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