Thursday, July 23, 2015

Repurposing Binder Clips

It's Scott from Brick by Brick. I love to repurpose materials—use materials in ways different from their intended purpose.

One of my favorite places to find items to repurpose is the office supply store (or the office supply section of your favorite discount store). Here are a few ideas for repurposing a favorite office item - binder clips.

Game Pieces - Use binder clips to make stand-up game pieces. This one uses a picture card. But you could use anything that could clip in the binder clip. Use photographs of your kids. Use index cards on which kids have printed their names or drawn pictures. Use letters or shapes from bulletin board sets. You can use anything. Clip it in the binder clip and stand on the table or gameboard. 

Or stick a colored sticker on the binder clip or buy a set of colored binder clips and use the clips themselves for game pieces.

Book Binding - Use binder clips to attach pages together in a homemade book. Kids could draw pictures and/or write words on sheets of paper or cards. Clip the pages together and turn the pages. 

This book is made from food labels. Cut labels from boxes or cans and tape the labels onto index cards. Clip the cards together. (Use logos that are familiar to kids. They can "read" this book because it uses environmental print, print they recognize.)

Homemade Clipboard - Use a piece of cardboard and a binder clip to make a homemade clipboard. Stack paper and align with the cardboard. Clip on the binder clip. Kids now have a portable "desk" to write or draw.

Mailbox Labels - I purchased these mailboxes for my classroom. I wanted to label each slot with a kid's name. But I wanted to be able to change the names or reuse the mailboxes from class to class. I clipped binder clips to the bottom of the slots and attached a small label with the kids' names. These worked great! I was able to remove a clip or add a clip when kids came or went. And, I could remove the label and put on a clean one to reuse the clip, too.

Other Ideas:
  • You could also use the binder clips as counters or other manipulatives. 
  • Add the clips to an activity that allows kids to practice pinching to open the clips. (Great for fine motor development) 
  • Hang the clips on pushpins to make easily changeable wall displays. 
  • Or just clip papers together, as the binder clips were designed to do.

What ways could you use these in your classroom?

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