Flash forward to reading tutor me. I have found that keeping kids engaged, the way Senor Schlatter did, is key to keeping them learning. If you have a preschooler at home, learning should be about play and fun anyway.
And this gel board is fun.
I have seen many versions of this gel board online, and I instantly fell in love with it when I saw one.
I had purchased a similar item from an online store for teachers a few years ago, but it just never quite worked the way I wanted it to. (And, it cost much more than the one I made.) My preschool phonics students have particularly loved this. It's a fun way to learn to write letters (or for making fun patterns!)
I made mine a bit sturdier than you may need to make yours.
Here's what you'll need to make the simplest version of this:
a zip top reclosable freezer bag (or a sandwich bag for a small one)
Get some dollar store hair gel, put some in a reclosable freezer bag, add some food coloring, and close it up. (Remove as much air as you can.) Seal with some packing tape. Now, that's easy, especially for temporary, supervised use. I mean, who knows how this would hold up over time to sharp fingernails or curious preschoolers? But, quick and fun for sure.
To make the version in the photo:
I bought some foam board at a craft store. I cut it into a square, several inches bigger than my freezer bag. I taped the freezer bag to the foam board and covered it with a sheet of clear contact paper (before filling with the hair gel.) Next, I squeezed the hair gel into the bag and added a few drops of food coloring. I then sealed the edges with some fun duct tape. (I found most of these items at the dollar store.)
And, yes, mine looks a bit funky now. The contact paper does crease over time... But still fun!
How will you use yours?
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