Try not to judge. My kids eat a lot of Hubba Bubba bubble tape. Like, a lot. Trust me when I tell you that I said many prayers in the car on the way to the dentist office this summer. Luckily, either the prayers or the tooth paste worked (possibly both).
I was starting to feel bad about throwing away those plastic containers, so I started a collection on the window sill in my kitchen. Honestly, I had no idea what to do with them, but I just knew they could serve another purpose besides holding gum and sitting in a landfill. Then, it suddenly hit me over a sink of sudsy dishes. These things have the same shape as Pac Man! They can chomp numbers just like alligators or greater than, less than symbols!
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First, I did a trial run. I started by peeling off the top layer of paper from the gum label. After the paper was removed, I sprayed some Goo Gone on the sticky adhesive. I let that sit for a couple of minutes and then gently used a non-serrated butter knife to remove the rest of the adhesive from the label.
This system worked well, so I did the same for the rest of the gum containers. I peeled off the paper.
Then, I sprayed the Goo Gone and removed the labels on both sides of the gum containers with the butter knife. After removing the labels, I thoroughly washed the containers with dish detergent to remove all of the oils.
Once the containers were completely dried (and free of oils), I closed them up and took them outside on a piece of cardboard. I sprayed the first side with yellow spray paint.
I let them dry for a few hours and then flipped them over to spray the other side.
Once both sides were sprayed, I let them sit and dry for a day.
I had an image in my mind of a black outline to emphasize the greater than, less than symbols, so I searched for some thin, black tape. I was happy to stumble upon this black “Art Tape” at Dollar Tree.
It seemed like that tape was actually made for the job. It fit perfectly!
All finished! Yay!
Now these chompers are all set for my next place value lesson on comparing numbers! Those numbers are a part of my place value lapbook kit. It is a great tool for building number sense.
Happy teaching! 🙂