A quick alternative to laminating symbols

Does the time and cost involved with laminating symbols get to be a little much sometimes? Of course we accept the hassle and expense of laminating symbols that receive ongoing use. But what about those symbols or pictures used to meet a short-term need? Do they merit the investment? Why waste lamination film if they are simply going to be thrown away?

A couple weeks ago, a friend and I were chatting about solutions to this problem. She had materials for her child that would be used on a short-term basis, to accompany reading lessons that would last about one week. The extra work, expense, and waste of laminating them seemed pointless. 

This is where vinyl name badge holders can come to the rescue! Avery makes some great ones that we’ve used, although there are other brands. Just slip the paper symbol or picture into the pocket of the badge holder and you’ve got a sturdy, drool- liquid-resistant card for eye gaze or touch. When you are finished with the symbol, just swap it out for a new one and use the pockets over and over.

Vinyl badge holders with computer-generated words
and 2" picture symbols.

Some badge holders even come with “zippers” to increase their resistance to moisture (see these).

I won’t pretend that these vinyl pockets are cheap; they can run anywhere from $0.35 (in bulk) to $0.85 per pocket. Thirty-five to 85 cents of lamination film can protect quite a few 2 x 2” symbols. But the horizontal pockets we use have lasted for years and have saved me hours of laminating time. I’d say they’ve paid for themselves.

At Walmart yesterday, I found a package of 12 generic badge holders for $1.88. That’s just over $0.15 a piece. They are considerably flimsier than the Avery brand, so I can’t recommend them for extended use or for kids who are rough on materials. This is a case of “you get what you pay for.”

Badge holders also readily accept adhesive Velcro for use on choice boards.

There you go! If you find yourself in need of a way to protect symbols or pictures for a short time, try the badge holders.

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On a personal note, thanks so much for your patience with the long silences here at Adapting Creatively. We’ve been dealing with some health issues at our house that take away time from blogging.  Hopefully things will settle soon and I’ll be able to get back into a routine. Thanks for understanding!



Donna G. said...

Another post to send in to school! Thanks!

I have been a bit worried by your silence--sadly, I had a pretty good guess that it would be someone's health. I hope things are looking up.

Take care,
Donna G.

Rose-Marie said...

Thanks for your concern, Donna. I appreciate it.

We're hoping things will improve soon; a certain young lady would be ever so grateful for that!


Donna G. said...

I hate rett syndrome!

On a happier note-- I was looking for something else in your blog, and realized you're a year old today! ( it's already September 30 here in NJ!)

Happy birthday! Happy blogday? And thank you!


Liz said...

Love this idea! I have similiar clear pockets with velcro sewed on the back, which I purchased from a "special needs" catalog. These are much more convenient to just pick up at the store and cheaper! Thanks for sharing. :)

Monkey said...

I also use packing tape as a quick and cheap alternative to laminating film or devices. You can also use white board markers on things laminated with packing tape.

Rose-Marie said...

Thanks for sharing the idea with the packing tape, Monkey!