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We're preparing to take Z with us on a 7+ hour road trip to NC, so I've been looking around for some activities to keep him occupied in the car and at the cabin. I came across a nifty little reusable coloring toy that came with washable crayons, a dozen coloring pages, a little portfolio for holding the pages, and a cloth for wiping it clean. At $10 it seemed like a reasonable price to pay for some peace, so I purchased it. Then I got it home and realized I could make the exact same thing for FREE - just using office supplies I already have!
You will need:
Washable crayons are going to be easier to wipe off, but even the non-washable ones I already had at home work just fine! I would avoid pastel or neon crayons as they don't show up quite as well when coloring on plastic.
A folder or duotang with a clear plastic pocket
This is the most important part of the project. you need a smooth clear pocket that's fairly sturdy and preferably closed on at least two sides. A flimsy plastic insert will move too much during coloring. I happened to already have a product that works perfectly, but if you don't have anything like that on hand, I would look into something like this - which is made for dry erase applications. Plus, I love the colors!
Stickers to decorate (optional)
I print most of mine from twistynoodle.com. They always print out the perfect size and you can search by subject. They have great handwriting practice sheets too!
Paper towels for erasing
All you need to do is insert the coloring page behind the plastic cover and color on top of the plastic. Once your little one is done coloring a page, you can simply wipe the crayon off with a paper towel and insert a new one!
Not only is this a great money saver and way to make those coloring books last longer - it also would work beautifully for mazes and handwriting practice! If there's an extra pocket, you can use it to stash extra coloring pages.
That's it! Try it out and let me know how your kiddos like it! I'm off to get my $10 back now ...