Here’s a fun idea for a back to school door decoration or bulletin board with a PacMan video game theme, complete with all of the free downloads you need to make it happen. My first and second graders really ate this up, so if this sounds like fun to you, read on and I’ll tell you how I did it!
These are the photos that caught my eye on Pinterest, and inspired my project, although there were several other PacMan bulletin boards and doors to choose from! I really liked that door and wanted to try to make one!
The first thing I did was measure my door, being careful to exclude the part where the handle would be. I sure didn’t want to have our door decoration messed up just from people going in and out, so I didn’t even try to go around the handle; I just measured the space up to the handle and stopped where the door stopper would touch the paper.
Then I went and got the black butcher paper from our supply room. I also went to Walmart and found some shiny, metallic, one inch duct tape. I purchased two small rolls that had 18 feet on each roll. (Luckily, it turned out to be just enough!) I laid the paper out on the students’ desks to measure it, using a measuring tape for accuracy. Then, I folded it down to the correct size rather than cut it to make it a little sturdier than just leaving raw edges.
To begin, I put a strip of that shiny duct tape across the top, and then put the letters for the caption that I wanted across the top. I used a ruler to try to keep the letters going straight rather than up or down hill, of course. Once it looked like the words were in the right places and were going to fit, I glued them down with white glue.
After that, I put another long strip of the metallic duct tape under the caption to begin the maze section, measuring to make sure it was going straight across. After that, I admit I was a little stumped! I kept checking my inspiration picture, and wondered if I could just start taping down sections and get it right the first time… but thought better of it! So I decided to use some student rulers that I had in my Measurement Activities box to lay out the maze! It worked out great, because some of the rulers were shorter from my kindergarten supplies, and others were a full 12 inches.
I played with the rulers and laid them out here and there until I found a design that I liked. I knew that I would need to keep the size of the maze paths consistent, and so I tried to stick about four inches per pathway, and that worked out well. It turned out that the final pathways range from four to five and a half inches, but the inconsistencies don’t really seem to show or matter, I think.
Once everything was in place to my satisfaction, I started taping them down! All I had to do is just pre-cut the tape the correct length and then lay it down. The only challenge was getting each piece down nice and straight in right angles. I wished I had brought a t-square with me to get it just right!
Once that was done, all I had to do was just tape up the edges of the maze. I was holding my breath to see if I would have enough tape, or if I would have to go back for more… and I had enough! Hooray!
Last of all, I went to my computer and opened up Adobe Illustrator. I drew up a couple of those cute little PacMan ghosts, and some PacMen with their mouths wide open! Here is a free download the of masters.
I also got some googly eyes for each of them. I printed out names of each of the children in my class on return address stickers and added them to the ghosts, and put yellow stickers up in between each one. I think I need to get a little red ribbon and turn myself into Ms. PacMan!
So far, it is holding up very well after one week of school! I did put a piece of packing tape down on the board before taping up the ghosts and PacMen, hoping that I would be able to take them down and perhaps reuse it next year? We’ll see! I’m keeping my fingers crossed! If not, then I guess I’ll get to go on another creative adventure!
Here’s the finished product! Ta da! Again, here is the free download of the ghosts and PacMen!
And if you’re wondering how my first week went? Well, it has been going GREAT! I will be writing more on that later. I wanted to do a little problem solving on my routines and really get them down before I share any more. My class is super sweet and good, though. I am really enjoying being back in the classroom- despite the exhaustion! So, more later!
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