PrAACtical Thinking December-page-fluffer

Published on December 26th, 2012 | by Carole Zangari

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5+ Ways to Make Page Fluffers and Spacers

Sometimes the pages of communication books can be hard to turn, particularly if the pages are stiff or laminated. Here are some tried-and-true methods of putting spacers between the pages to make the books easier for unruly hands to handle.

  1. Use a small square of soft Velcro to a corner of the page. The adhesive-backed Velcro makes this a quick and easy fix, and it’s a 5+ Ways to Make Page Fluffers and Spacersgood way to use up leftover scraps.
  2. Foam stickers from a craft or dollar store work well if you only need a small amount of separation between the pages. We love that you can get them in a wide variety of shapes and themes (e.g., dinosaurs, soccer balls, princess crowns). Great way to personalize the book based on your client’s interests.
  3. Colorful pom-pom’s can be hot-glued to one end of a paper clip. Use the other end to clip the fluffer to the page. We like them both because they’re cute, but also because they are removable. Great way to make library books more accessible.
  4. A not-so-pretty but very quick and functional way to make a fluffer is to use adhesive-backed weather stripping (the kind you put around windows to keep the draft out in chilly weather). These are another good dollar store find. Snip off a little bit, attach it to the corner of a page, and you are set to go. There is a great post on making these portable (removable) on the wonderful blog, Adapting Creatively.
  5. Scraps of foam core can also be used as page fluffers. You can either glue them directly on a page or to a paperclip, if you need a removable spacer. The OATC has a good demo of them on their site.5+ Ways to Make Page Fluffers and Spacers
  6. Board books present a special challenge because they are already thick and bulky. I like using a hot glue gun to put a drop of glue on the outside corner because you can make it as thin or thick as you want. Also, they are unobtrusive and help kids stay focused on the text and illustrations.  Make sure to let each page dry before going on to do the next one.

For more reading on this topic, check out blog posts on Glenda’s AT site and the Montana Deafblind Project.

 

Images/Miami Dade PreK ESE/ http://prekese.dadeschools.net/AS/booksandliteracy.html

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About the Author

Carole Zangari

Carole Zangari has been involved in the practice and teaching of AAC for over 20 years. She is a professor of speech-language pathology and has been fortunate to have been able to introduce many children and adults to the world of AAC. "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt



2 Responses to 5+ Ways to Make Page Fluffers and Spacers

  1. Jeanne Tuthill says:

    Students in my grad class recently were asked to do a literacy assignment and part of that assignment was to make the hard copy of their book more accessible with page fluffers. I didn’t give them any specifics but showed them a couple of examples. The students were very creative as I suspected they would be! A couple of ideas not listed here: one student put paper clips on the page and used a strong magnetic “bingo chip” wand to turn each page (if the student can’t easily grasp the wand we talked about ways of adapting the wand/page turner), another student used the round fuzzy dots that are used on the feet of furniture to keep them from scratching up the floor. They are a nice size and thickness and are similar to your fuzzy velcro idea (but perhaps a bit thicker).

    Thanks for these additional ideas – I particularly like the hot glue idea!

    • Carole Zangari Carole Zangari says:

      Jeanne, I love the prAACtical bent to that assignment. It gets them thinking about what their clients will really need and get some practice pulling together all of the details. The hot glue is one of my favorites, too (when I’m in the mood to get out the hot glue gun), but the idea of using the furniture leg protectors is great, too. Thanks for sharing your students’ creative ideas!

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