My 5 year old son is in a special education class as he is developmentally behind due to his autism. The teacher mentioned that she wanted me to bring my "good" egg cartons for something she was hoping to find time to throw together. After it turned into everyone in the class making one.. they didn't turn out well, at all. And, no way would they be durable enough to use twice everyday for group time. (There are kids that go all day and some go morning or afternoons as well depending on their age) So, I thought about it and added my own twist. Instead of the sad painted yellow egg carton with glued on, non-removable, black and white paper picture xerox cut outs of the kids in the class... I decided to make a wooden bus with windows perfectly sized for school pictures. (though funny enough, pics were later than usual in arriving this year... so I cropped and edited the pics the teachers took and emailed me for my project. The teacher loved it so much that she took it to her special education meeting to show other educators.
I cut out a thick piece of wood in the shape of what I imagined would be close enough to a bus on my newly purchased jigsaw (I have never in my life used one of these before now), bought a dowel rod to fit the wheel holes and drilled holes to just a smidge wider.. To keep the rod from bumping and rolling oddly or rubbing the backs of the tires to the bus.. I cut small plastic tube pieces from a few of my son's syringes for his medicines (The part that covers the plunger is like a cap and is the perfect diameter to fit the hole I drilled and I usually just throw these away anyhow). Then I painted it all up and used a school pic to make the outlines to ensure proper school picture fit..
After all was put together and painted... I cut sticky velcro pieces (the soft side of the velcro) to stick to the center of each window the teacher intends to use (there are a couple of empty spots) And the teacher laminated the kids' school pics and stuck the other velcro I cut out on the backs of them...
Now everyday in group, when they sing the song about who came to school today, they each say the name and pass the bus to each child (since it rolls perfectly) and take the pictures off of the bus and onto a laminated school house. I have toyed with the idea of making a schoolhouse board, but I am thinking it would be too heavy if any of the kids knocked it off the wall.. But, the bus I made will be used long after Gavin is out of this classroom. This is his 3rd and last year in this early learning class, as he will be 6 in June. I am always looking for ways to show that I appreciate all that she and her aides do for my son.
and to those with the eagle eyes for imperfections.. yes, when I was drilling a hole to add the back wheel, the drill jumped and I just figured it was close enough.. I was just happy it was close for my first time messing with power tools since 7th grade. lol which is why the emphasis on safety.. hence my safety gear pic lol!