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My oldest loves to draw.  He fills sketch book after sketch book with his amazingly awesome pictures of his crazy creations.  Sometimes they’re blue prints (literally, because, as he tells me, he used blue marker to make them official), sometimes they’re illustrations for stories he’s heard, and sometimes, they’re robots.  Actually, come to think of it, robots play a big part in his portfolio.  Anyways, he really loves to draw.

Lately, he’s been making paper dolls.  I haven’t had the heart to tell him that those are generally considered “girly” or usually have dresses and other “outfits” to go with them.  He’ll figure it out eventually on his own, so why should I be the bearer of bad news (I almost just spelled that noos, by the way; I must be way more tired than I thought)?  Of course, it helps that his paper “dolls” are, you guessed it, robots.  So much more manly than Cinderella and her ball gowns.

After watching him bemoan the fact that all of his dolls, which he had painstakingly made for himself and his brothers’, get ripped way too easily, it dawned on me that I could do something about this.  This is always an awesome feeling for a mom.  I remembered that I do, in fact, own a laminating machine, one that I have only (sadly) used two or three times.  So, I told him to make another set and give them to me.  I (literally) dusted off the old laminater (is that even a word?) and got to work.

Step 1: Make awesome paper dolls, robots in this case.

Step 2: Insert into laminating “pocket”. Best part of this is that you can cram several of them into one pocket, which gets you the most bang for your buck.

Step 3: Slide the whole thing through the handy dandy laminator (sp? seriously? it should be a word, even if it isn’t).

Step 4: Marvel at the awesomely clear laminating sheet now that all the little pieces are sealed inside.

Step 5: Cut them out (remembering to leave a border so as to not break the seal) and…

Step 6: Let the kids have at it! (Even if they don’t understand what the term “candid photo” means)

That’s it.  The best part is how happy the kids are with the new “toys”.

That, and not having to listen to the complaints over ripped (or wet or crumpled, etc) paper “dolls”.  That is priceless.

Oh, and the laminating machine I use?  It’s a Sony, and it was a Goldbox deal on Amazon about two years ago for under $15.  Can’t beat that.

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