So you hopped on the Arabic Playground bandwagon! Ahlan wa Sahlan! Welcome! The best thing about downloadable flashcards is unfortunately the exact worst thing. Yes they are downloadable files that you can easily print but they are still easily damaged from constant use. (Yes, once you discover all the fun ways to use them you will end up including them in your daily schedule and you will notice the wear and tear damage). Early on, I decided to properly preserve the flashcards by giving them a professional look.
1. Use a high Quality Printer: I usually change my printing setting into "mono color" and "toner saving mode" to save ink. However, when printing the Arabic Playground flashcards, I opted for the full and high quality printing setting on my laser printer. You might say that is a lot ink and hence money, yet remember that you will need to do this once; and if preserved properly, you will turn these flashcards into almost undestroyable products. Invest once, use for ever!
2. Use Acid Free Cardstock: instead of printing paper. I decided to print on cardstock because it gives the flashcard more weight and turn it into a sturdy product. I used acid free white 65 lb/176 g/m2 cardstock and the size is 8.5 in x 11 in. I bought it from my local craft store with a coupon. I adjusted my printer into printing on thick paper and used the manual feed tray instead of automatic tray to make sure that the paper does not get warped during printing. Check your printer catalog for the best way to print out on thick paper.
3. Do not print on both sides: I decided not to print on both sides of the card stock for 2 reasons. First, because you will need to cut these print out into individual flashcards, you will not be able to print out the flashcards exactly back to back. Second, you will need to keep the back side of the flashcard as blank for more fun ways of using these flashcards. Check my future posts on how to use these flashcards for different ages and competence.
4. Double print: I am making two copies of each type of flashcards and I will explain to you later when I show you how I use them. You don't have to do it now but it gives you new ways of using the flashcards.
4. Laminate: I recently bought a laminator and left me wanting to laminate everything: laundry instructions, calendars, my socks! I was on a laminating frenzy. I bought this laminator for cheap on Amazon when it was on the deal of the day. I also purchased the laminating sheets. Don't get cheap and try to use other ways of laminating unless you absolutely have no choice. Time is money and frustration is the enemy. (I just came up with this, I will print it on a piece of paper and liminate it).
5. Use sharp scissors or rotary cutter: dedicated to paper cutting for precise cutting. Do not use your fabric scissors or fabric rotary cutter. Cut the printed and laminated page into individual flashcards following the boundaries of each flashcard. Be careful that the cut edges can be sharp so be warned. If you want to be on the safer side, print on card stock, cut into individual flashcards and then laminate using smaller laminating sheets that work with the cut size. These laminating pouches exist in many sizes but hey are more expensive.
Nadine Ismail of Reinventing Nadine; is a blogger living in the Bay Area in California. She documents on her blog www.reinventingnadine.com her journey from an executive single woman living in Beirut, Lebanon to a housewife, mom and an entrepreneur living in the US. Nadine shares her recipes, crafts tutorial, embroidery, parental advice especially raising a bilingual child. Nadine will be testing and reviewing our Arabic Playground products so you can make a more informative decision. Join us and check out our weekly blog.