This blog is where we share our homeschooling journey. Our style is eclectic, employing strategies like notebooking, workboxing, and some relaxed unschooling I like to call organic or free-range learning.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blah Bulletin Boards? Never!

Among our other Earth Day projects this year, I decided to make a bulletin board to display the calendar items I've been using to help Bri get a better sense of time than she was getting from her Jonas Brothers calendar (though she digs the kewl photos!).

Here's the "plain" bulletin board before her calendar was added. It was simple to make, and she absolutely adores it! It's fun, yet isn't too busy for the display items to stand out.

Here's the finished product after adding her calendar stuff. For fun we also included a little weather report. Click on the photo to enlarge it and you'll see the calendar items sit inside a clear pocket along the bottom. This was the trickiest part of the whole thing, but it wasn't too hard.

This could have been done as a flannel/felt board, but I opted for a wipe-clean base for three reasons. First, this sits on our dining table (resting against the wall) and I didn't want a spill wicking up and ruining it. Two, I already had the laminated weekday/month/date cards, and didn't want to redo or alter them for a fabric board. Third, I was hoping to get away with using items I had on hand.

Here's how I made this:

1. I used spray adhesive to glue construction paper to represent grass/sky/sun/tree onto a standard sheet of foam core. (With Earth Day in mind, I "recycled" paper that already had been used on one side.)

2.To add the pocket, I cut a sheet of clear shelf paper a few inches over the length of the foam board. I folded the top down lengthwise about 2/3 of the way to make the double layer pocket, yet still leave a single layer of "sticky" paper along the whole bottom edge. I positioned the long pocket, folded the edges around to the back of the foam board, then secured it using packaging tape.

3.The sets of calendar items (obtained courtesy of are stacked in order and slipped into the pocket. Each day we pull the prior weekday/date/etc out and slide it to the back so the current day is displayed.

4. The mini "weather report" is available at Sprout Online's coloring pages. I cut it out and laminated everything with clear vinyl. Using the same basic idea I did for the board, I made a clear pocket for the little weather signs to slip into. This I attached to the foam board using brad fasteners. Each day the proper sign (sunny, cloudy, etc) is slid into view in the pocket.

There's still room to display other special items of interest like photos, theme letters/numbers/words, etc. Meanwhile, since we live in a tiny apartment and space is at a premium (not to mention our fondness for teaching Bri about recycling/reusing things), I want to spray-adhesive fabric to the entire back of the board so we can flip it around for use as a felt board.


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