Best Buys: Scotch Thermal Laminator

In getting ready for B to start kindergarten this year [okay, really it’s going to be more like a third year of preschool] and C to start preschool too, I’ve been furiously working on getting lots of ready-to-hand games and activities to use for both of them so that when it comes time to actually commence schooling operations, I have a good portion of my planning and readying work already done.

I’m also trying to do it on the uber cheap. Cuz, let’s be real here… my kids are going to use or do each activity at MOST, 5-10 times, and at worst, less than once. I don’t have enough moolah to dish out $20 a pop for each activity, especially with the spectre of non-use constantly hanging over my head. So, what to do…

Enter this beauty.

I got the idea from observing my Mom, who actually uses one of those sticky-roller laminators, but since I didn’t have quite enough shekels handy to get myself one of those, I researched my other options.

Amazon did me a solid and found this baby for me. After dithering about whether it would be worth it for [ahem] 3 weeks, I finally took the plunge and bought it. And oooh baby am I having a ball! Sure, some of that is the “I’m five years old, it’s Christmas morning and dangit, I want to play with my new toy” factor, but aside from that it’s meeting and even exceeding my expectations.

Why I’m Loving On This Guy:

  • It doensn’t bubble.
  • It hasn’t jammed yet.
  • The plastic is nice and clear, and not streaky or grainy.
  • It has done 20 pouches in a row with no hiccups or slowing-down-ings.
  • The finished pouches are nice and rigid.
  • They’re dry-erase marker friendly.
  • They cut easily, and don’t peel apart [or at least, they haven’t yet].
  • They don’t discolor the pages during the heating/adhering process.
  • It’s pretty teeny, so it stores nicely in its box on a shelf between other boxes of tools and craft supplies.

The only “downside” [which isn’t really a problem, I’m just impatient]:

  • It takes 5 whole minutes to heat up.

So yeah. Totally worth the $37 – I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of it in games and reusable activities that the kids have already played with!

What all do you do with your laminators? What is your favorite reusable game or activity that you’ve made? Did you laminate something from another site that you and your kids love? Share your ideas – I can use all I can get!

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