911, a favorite children’s book just suffered a torn page! You are in need of some library book care. What to do? Place it in the book ambulance so that it can be taken to the book hospital for repair!
As a classroom teacher, I found many of our classroom library books suffered from wear and tear. As a parent, I’m discovering the same thing at home. When these books were just placed back on the shelf, they were destined to further deterioration. So, I created a book ambulance.
When a child finds a book in need of repair, they place it in the book ambulance. Then, when time permits, I take the books to the book hospital (usually my kitchen table) to be repaired.
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Utilizing the book ambulance helps to teach kids to respect books. Classroom teachers can keep track of the number of books that are put in the ambulance each week to compare how well the books are being cared for in the room. Children learn that books aren’t just things, but rather important gifts that should be treasured.
Making your own book ambulance is super simple. You will need the following materials:
- 1 white, red, or yellow rectangle basket or InterDesign Closet Storage Organizer Shoe Box, for Flats, Athletic Shoes, Sandals – Clearclear container
- ambulance icon printable (download for free below)
- clear packing tape
- Print the free printable and cut along the dark lines. Laminate for durability with your packing tape.
- Tape your book ambulance signs to the sides of the basket.
- Place your book ambulance in the classroom library.
When it is time for the ambulance to go to the hospital, you will need a few more things.
And what “medical” supplies does your book doctor bag need to include? Here are the tools that I’ve found to be the most helpful.
- Duck Brand Clear Packing Tape – I’ve found that this brand works the best for repairing long tears on pages and for reinforcing the binding of a book.
- Transparent Tape- 3/4″ works well for small tears on pages. Place tape on both sides of the tear for extra durability.
- Long Handle Stapler– This can be a pricey tool, but works very well for pages that have come loose in staple bound books. You generally find that the books ordered from book clubs like Scholastic or Troll have staple binding.
- Eraser- Takes stray pencil marks that little ones may have made on pages.
- Drying Rack– This won’t fit in your book doctor bag, but it sure does come in handy when a book gets wet. Fan the pages out over the drying rack and allow to air dry.
You now are equipped for those library book care emergencies. Having a few tools on hand can rescue many of your beloved books from retirement. Of course, we know that some book accidents are beyond repair. Never fear, in a future post, we will look at other uses for books that are beyond fixing. Happy book doctoring!
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