Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Re-using Dover Little Activity Books--A Tip for Frugal Moms

A wonderful resource that I've found in my parenting is  Dover Little Activity books. These tiny activity books fit in the hand of a child and provide creative, constructive, and fun entertainment for various ages. 

They are a "lifesaver" ;-) in the car and at church. They are a fun alternative at home on a rainy day when the kids are tired of books or puzzles. 

They are inexpensive. I usually spend about $1.50-$2.00 per book. 

But when budgets are tight, even that amount may be a little much, as the books are not strongly re-usable. For that reason, I use these books more as a "treat" than an everyday item.

One day, while my son was working on an especially "cute" little Dover (a train station with supposedly re-usable stickers) I noticed that after he used the stickers once, they were not very "re-usable," as promised. The edges were curling and it was difficult to put the stickers back on the sticker sheet that they were originally from for use another time. 

An idea came to me. Why not cover the entire book in tape, including the stickers,  and use velcro to attach the individual stickers to the book for prolonged future use? 

I love tape. I am known to coat entire packages that I am mailing in the lovely substance for added security ;-). So this was right up my alley. 

I carefully coated the little book, and then went on to cover the stickers, front and back. Later, I made a trip to Wal-Mart, where I discovered tiny velcro circles. 

I attached the velcro pieces to the little book itself in various places, and then on the backs of each tape-coated sticker. 

Voila! Now the stickers could be used over and over and applied to different places on the book to create different scenes. 

I tried this with one of our Christmas Dover Little Activity books  after my daughter had completed it once.

My sister suggested using mailing tape (a bit easier than Scotch tape) and this worked even better and faster. 

The books are now highly durable and reuseable. :-) They and the accompanying stickers may be stored in a ziplock bag and brought to church or in the car and used over and over. 

It is a fun (and easy) idea to try. If your children are a little older, they may even enjoy covering the pieces in tape and attaching the velcro. 

Dover Little Activity books  may be found on Amazon (clickable links below and above). You may also find them in your local craft or gift store. There is usually a wonderful selection that continually varies. 

Happy Little Dovering! :-)

Note: In general, Dover Little Activity books are cute, sweet, educational, and innocent, but I have come across a few that I wasn't too keen on---you can pick and choose the ones that you think are edifying and appropriate when you shop. Here is a sampling of some Dover Little Activity books below. 

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  1. What a cute idea!! I'm always looking for quiet toddler activities - thanks for the idea! Visiting from Simple Homestead

  2. That is an awesome idea! My boys used to have so many of those books.

  3. I want to check these books out for my grandson! So good for eye/hand coordination!

  4. I love your ways to save and reuse these books over and over. It reminds me of all the things I would do as a teacher to prolong the use of many of my classroom books.

  5. Thank you for stopping by Woman to Woman Ministries and linking up. God bless.

  6. Great idea! I bet contact paper would work well, too, if you're straight-line-tape-challenged like I am ;).

  7. What a wonderful idea! Simple, straight-forward and effective!

  8. Great ideas! Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays. :) (

  9. Great idea! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Always a pleasure to have you!