How to make Visuals
Visuals can be made in a number of ways. The method suggested here is one which, through trail and error, we have found is easy and creates long lasting visuals ready for constant use and handling.
1. Select the Visuals (pictures) you want to print from the "free visual sequences" or "free visual packs". Click on the "Read More" button at the end of the sequence/pack blurb. Click on the girl, boy or general PDF to download for printing.
When printing we choose to use a thicker card rather than plain paper for durability. We find 180gsm matt paper (as opposed to normal 80gsm paper) works best. It allows our son to repeatedly handle the cards without them bending or creasing but is still thin enough to easily laminate. We buy the card at the local office supplies shop.It goes through our basic printer very well. Of course we suggest you check your printers ability to handle thicker paper before printing with it.
2. Cut page of pictures up into individual pictures along the given lines.
3. Laminate each picture separately, again to make the pictures more durable as they get handled a lot.
We chose to use the smaller individual laminating pouches, which we can purchase from the local office supplies shop. We find the individual pouches seal better all the way around the picture (Tom doesn't seem to be able to pull apart the laminated back from laminated front as he can with a full sheet of laminated pictures which have been cut separately after). The individual laminating pouches also have rounded edges which eliminate sharp plastic corners and edges.
If however, these pouches are not available to you we recommend cutting each picture individually first, then placing them spread out on a larger laminating sheet so the plastic can join in between pictures with enough space to cut around each pictures still giving it a total seal. We also recommend curving the corners of the cut laminates to take away sharp points.
4. Make backing boards. What is a backing board? It is just a piece of long cardboard laminated to place rows of individual pictures on (or cardboard covered in contact if you only have access to a small laminating machine ). We find having a Backing board makes it easier to show and remove pictures when teaching. We start with backing boards about 15cm long for three small cards, then move to backing boards about 30-50cm for longer sequences of six pictures.
5. Velcro the visuals. How do we keep the individual visuals on the backing boards? We use velcro strips on the front of the backing board and small velcro coins (circles) on the back of each individual visual. This allows the pictures to stick to the backing board in rows left to right (like when reading) and also allows the pictures to be able to be pulled off when completed so child can focus on what to do next.
6. Make a finished box to keep the removed pictures in till next time you are teaching the sequence and need to place them all on the backing board again.