February 27, 2012

Reusing Activity Pages with Page Protectors

I use page protectors to make my children's activity pages, and even their school books, reusable.

As many of you know, I have 5 kids very close in age and we home school.  But this tip is useful even if you don't home school.

This year I purchased several pieces of curriculum from The Critical Thinking Co.  I love their products!  But their awesome full colour workbooks aren't cheap, and I may need to use each one five times in the next 5 years! 

I solved the problem by cutting the binding off each book and hole punching the pages to fit in a binder.  Each day, my kids do their worksheets in a plastic page protector using a dry erase marker or dry erase crayon.  I check their work, we erase it, and then I remove that page protector and slip tomorrow's page in.

I always know where we are at in the workbook because our next page is the one in the page protector.

To cut the binding off the book I used a retractable craft knife, a ruler, and some patience.  But I've heard that copy shops can sometimes cut bindings off books for a small fee.

This tip could be used for books of mazes, connect-the-dots, logic puzzles, or free activity sheets printed off the Internet.

If you are looking for some good free printable worksheets for young children, check out education.com

Thank You for Visiting the Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking! 

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them help to support this blog.  Pretty nifty, eh?


  1. Wonderful idea! And just in time for my daughter to use. She has been fretting about this very thing. Thank you!

    1. She has been using this since I told her about it, and just told me "mom, thank you so much for this idea!"
      So, thank you!

  2. Good post. I have been wanting to buy a laminator for this very reason.

  3. I use a laminator for my math table fill ins, for this purpose. We also use the laminator on our cursive reactive sheets. That wat we can use them over and over again for practice.

  4. Hi Kelly, I just spent a long time browsing your blog last night(very inspiring!) and I was coming back today to ask what you used for critical thinking for your little ones. = ) So you've answered my question!
    I have 5 & 4 y.o. girls that we've been doing very "casual" (i.e. whenever the mood struck us!) homeschooling with and decided it would be nice to get into more of a "daily rhythm" to get ready for the official start of homeschooling kindergarten in the fall!
    I'll definitely be returning frequently to read your posts!
    Blessings to you and your lovely family!

  5. Great idea! The only downside I can think of is that you erase the girls' work, so you don't have any sample work to keep for portfolios later. I guess you could take a picture of it before you erase it, though.

  6. I love this blog! I have four young kids and I don't know how you do such an amazing job! Great idea!!! I wish I had thought of this before!!! I have a request: do you have a special or creative way you display your kids' artwork? Just wondering! Thanks for posting so many useful posts for moms!!!!

  7. I teach public high school and i am thinking I could use this idea even with a full classroom of kids! We go through so many copies!

  8. Oh goodness! Such a thrifty tip! Kind of reminds me of how FlyLady recommends you do a control journal! For printable things, try shrinking them down to a 4x6 size and printing them on blank index cards: Then, instead of page protectors, you can put them in a small photo album that fits in your purse or diaper bag! I love this for grocery lists and menu planning!

  9. What a great idea! I guess you could even get coloured whiteboard markers and use the same idea for colouring in. Fantastic!

  10. Such a good idea, and environmentally friendly too. :)

  11. You can also use transparencies and binder clips for those books you don't want to cut apart such as hard covers. I've used this alot with tutoring and in my classroom.

  12. Mom of grown-up/homeschooled sons here ... thanks for the memories of times past that were such good times. We did both: page protectors (workbook pages) and transparencies (books we didn't want to take apart). We found that old fashioned "grease pencils" worked best for us because they can be sharpened to a fine point and didn't rub off on clothing as easily. Still use page protectors and "grease pencils" to this day for personal planning and at my work! And when it came time to pass on our materials ... they went with the protectors on them already. Blessing someone else is so rewarding.

  13. I love how the most brilliant ideas are so simple... but then, that's part of what makes them brilliant, isn't it?!? Thanks for sharing this great tip. We don't have kids yet, but we're in the process to adopt siblings so I'm sure I'll use it soon enough!


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