A Kindergarten Smorgsboard Thrifty Thursday: Melt Your Own Manipulatives

Hello Thursday!  It’s a beautiful day here in Music City!  It’s warm and breezy but not crazy hot and humid.  I have a feeling we will pay for this weather in August….when we’re back in school…and i’m sure the air conditioning will quit.  It’s just what is meant to be right?!

It’s Thrifty Thursday time!  Today I am going to show you a cheap and fun way to make some unique manipulatives for your classroom.  
If you have a light table or light box, these are perfect for those.  If you don’t have one and want to make a simple and cheap light box, check out my post on how to make a light box by clicking the link.
You will need plastic Solo cups.  Or any brand of plastic cup.  BUT you need a certain type of cup.
On the bottom of the cup is the little recycling triangle symbol.  Inside that triangle is a number.  Look for cups with a number 6.  Those melt the best.  Don’t ask why.  But it matters.
Set your oven to 250-300.  
Place 3 cups on a cookie sheet.  Space them out so they have to room to melt down.  Place the opening UP so they melt flatter!!1  
Place in oven.  Watch the magic.  Yeah…plastic cups in the oven.  Don’t worry, it won’t smoke or smell or burn the place down.  Well…I don’t know you so you might burn the place down.  I haven’t yet…YET!

Pull out the cookie sheet and QUICKLY use a spatula to flatten out the discs.  HURRY because they harden really fast when they hit the cool air.
These are great for all kinds of things:
nametags, manipulatives, counters and more!  And they’re very durable!!!
Have fun melting plastic in the oven!
Be sure to link up your Thrifty Thursday posts!


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