Saturday, 21 July 2012

Spinny Centers - Recycle Your Old DVDs and CDs



I am genuinely thrilled and excited to blog about our latest little creation and packet on TpT -

I collaborated with one clever man to make this product - my Dad! I know I am biased, but my Dad is awesome. There is nothing he cannot do. No problem he cannot solve. I feel blessed every day that I get to be his daughter. He is one very very special man.


It all started with some VHS cassette tape cases I purchased about 7 years ago. My husband (another very clever person) groaned. I purchased about 100 of them. They were just ten cents a packet you see, and I stood in the shop and decided that I could use them for storing games and activities in my teaching cupboard. I would use the cover sleeve for an attractive cover or instruction sheet, and keep the contents of the game/activity inside.

It has worked a treat. Here is one:


Well it is very hard to find VHS boxes now. I can only find DVD cases. And it got me thinking.

And when I start thinking..... it tends to end up.... how should we say..... well, lets just look at some pictures!

Here is our first "Spinny Center". The idea is that you can use old or unwanted DVDs and their cases to create a center.

The DVD and case become the spinner and you house all the game boards and counters in the case.


Here is the finished set of "Alphabet Match" spinny centers - 3 center sets to learn upper case letter, lower case letters and match to pictures. Each set has 15 game boards and 2 spinners.


But let me just say - after I had my initial idea, I ran into a few troubles. The DVD did not spin so good. It would go around, but not enough for how students would expect a game spinner to spin. I researched, googled and looked at pinterest....nothing helped with how to get a DVD to spin in a case designed to keep it locked down.

My dad came over for a cup of tea, and I shared my dilemma. "I think I will shelve the idea" I told him. But....we both could not let it go and laughed at the irony. Some clever designer somewhere has made the DVD cases so that the DVD will not move too much, and here we were trying everything possible to reverse their design.

 We had all sorts of 'classroom bits' over the kitchen table to experiment with - elastic bands, split pins, brads, blu-tac.... we even used a marble at one point in the hope of creating some sort of addition to the case to make the dvd spin, that teachers would have readily available.

Dad told me not to give up, it could be solved.

He came by a few hours later with a very very 'spinny' CD! I was thrilled! To get the DVD to spin in its case, you just need a little bit of energy and a piece of coarse sandpaper. A job for the teacher, NOT the students!


Here is my dad preparing a DVD to show me. The amount you need to rub will depend on your case. A few other little tricks are shared in my file.


Here I printed a DVD label. These labels will vary depending on what brand you purchase, so I have included the labels in a WORD file so that you can adjust their position on the page to suit your labels. The great thing about using printed labels is that you can recycle your kids old DVDs that are scratched or broken by sticking a new label on!


Pop the labelled DVD back into the case, and lock it down.


Cut a corner of the sticky paper that is left when you peel the label from its sheet, and use it as the arrow for the spinner. Cut your game boards and pop them in the case.


Voila a nice tidy little center activity for your students to play!
Imagine lots of these all lined up in a DVD case! I cant wait to get a few more ready and get them all organised!

We have some 'Spinny Centers' planned for maths and spelling, ready to list very soon.


Now I am hoping that I can turn the 'idea' section in my brain off for a while and get my kitchen cleaned!