Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shrinky Dink Jewelry

This is not the first time I have shared how amazing shrinky dinks are in class on this blog, and it probably will not be the last. As I was wrapping up the school year I wanted to give my 5th graders a WOW project.... in this case, I mean a project that will make them say WOW!! Shrinky Dinks was just the thing!! 

For those of you who did not grow up in the 80's (the first go round of this product) as I did, you may not know what Shrinky Dinks are. It's plastic sheets that you can draw on, cut out, and punch holes in. After you are finished manipulating the plastic, you place it in an oven at 350-ish degrees and watch the magic happen. The plastic shrinks to about 1/3 of its size.  On it's way to shrinkage, it folds and bends and looks like it is being destroyed.  It's quite entertaining to watch. 

A regular oven will work.  You just need a cookie sheet or something oven safe and has a flat surface. In a classroom situation, I have a toaster oven that works well. This way, the students can see first hand the magic.

The materials for my students for this project was a 1 1/2 X 4-inch sheet of plastic (cut down from 8X10), colored pencil/sharpies, an elastic string, and beads. I always get the 'frosted' Shrinky Dink because there is a little tooth or texture to one side that allows the students to use colored pencil or sharpies.  The time allowed to work on this project was about 45 minutes, but most students were done in about a half hour.

I had the students design the plastic (on the rough side of the plastic) using either colored pencils or sharpies. I asked them to keep it as a design rather than words or numbers.  When students use characters, they will often end up backward because there are two sides to this plastic. Once they bring the plastic up to me, I use a hole punch for each end.  I typically punch 3 holes next to each other so there is space large enough for the elastic to easily go through. YOU MUST PUNCH THE HOLES BEFORE SHRINKING!!

For this quick make and take, I gave students elastic and beads.  They strung the elastic through each hole as shown above, and then added the beads. Finally, they tied off the bracelet! I gave the suggestion to add clear nail polish to the knot when they get home to assure it's connection for a longer time.  A little drop of nail polish hardens and makes the knot more secure.  This was a GREAT send off for the class of 2024.  Good luck in the middle school kiddos! 

For a more advanced version of Shrinky Dink jewelry, please see this previous post. or for a more focused lesson on the design of the jewelry, please click here for this previous post

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