Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Remember Shrinky Dinks?

I recall being seriously excited when I was first introduced to Shrinky Dinks as a kid. I don't know what it is that makes them so much fun but I guess there's something magical about the concept of shrinking things in the oven. For our first project, we decided to make a chain of coloured hearts to hang in our play room. We traced around a heart stencil with a permanent marker and then cut out the hearts. It was a bit tricky for the kids so I did most of the tracing and cutting. The kids helped me lay out the hearts on trays. Don't forget to punch a hole in the hearts before they go in the oven so you have the option of hanging them up with string.

We all watched them shrink in the oven. It took about three minutes. I wrote the names of different colours on the hearts but the kids suggested that next time maybe it would be better to write their names instead.

For our second project, we used the pre-designed images. The kids had fun colouring in the images with coloured pencils and thinking about what key rings and jewellery they could make once baked in the oven.

I discovered that you need to keep a close eye on the oven while they cook. It is best to take them out quickly to avoid the images curling up on themselves.

We made key rings for their preschool bags and Jasmine made a necklace with a combination of beads and a selection of Shrinky Dinks. In terms of materials for this activity, all you need is:
  • Shrinky Dinks paper
  • scissors
  • permanent marker
  • hole puncher
  • coloured pencils
  • string if you want to hang anything up (there are some decorative strings at Eckersley and Riot stores), and
  • an oven of course!
I tried to find Shrinky Dinks in my local toy stores but didn't have any luck. I managed to find some online but the postage from the USA seemed extraordinarily high. Then thanks to eBay I found both Shrinky Dink plain coloured sheets for designing one's own pictures and some pre-designed images for the kids. For six Shrinky Dink coloured sheets it cost $15 including postage. One box of pre-designed images also cost $15 including postage. In the box of pre-designed images there were three or four trays of images plus some beads, string, clips and a chain to help make jewellery and othe decorations. Yay for eBay!

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