Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stylus for ECE classrooms, DIY stylus

I want my students to practice handwriting on the iPad holding a writing utensil.  I believe in motor memory and that practice makes perfect.  I also think the iPad can make even handwriting fun.  I love that some apps like Pocket Phonics and iWriteWords demonstrate proper letter formation.  I like Write-On for a worksheet like practice experience (especially for name writing).

When I looked at a stylus for kindergarten there were a few BIG problems though.  PRICE, durability, and size.  I couldn't find anything I could afford to buy a class set of that would last and not get lost or ruined.  I bought a Pogo stylus for my personal iPad and my 3 year old ruined the tip the first time she used it.

So I remembered a tweet I'd seen about a DIY stylus.  I looked at a few sites/videos but wanted something bigger for little hands.  After a little brainstorming I decided to try using some old markers that had dried out.  They aturned out awesome! 

Materials:  28 gauge wire, conductive sponge, duct tape, and marker casing.

The cost of the materials (not including the marker cases as I used dried out ones) was less than $5 to make a class set. 

Each marker took a couple of minutes once I got the hang of it. 

 Directions (video links below too!):
1.  Remove the ink barrel and tip from the markers.
2.  Cut the sponge into strips width wise, then in half again.
3.  Cut the sponge (now approx. 2" long and 1" wide) halfway down (second picture).
4.  Compress and twist the uncut side so that it fits in the tip side of the marker barrel.
5.  Pull back the two parts of the sponge and wrap the wire around the sponge/tip to about 1/2 way up the marker.
6.  Secure the end of the wire with duct tape (about 1/3 of the tape width).
7. Wrap another strip of duct tape around the wire/sponge at the tip.

Pretty, aren't they?

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