Some of our rooms have the rules of the IT rooms, laminated in matt finish and stuck down.
does the job lovely
Fablon squares perhaps or just fine grade wet and dry paper to rough the surface up again?
How shiny are they? Our laminate benches are usually pretty shiny if polished, and I've never had any problems with them.
Try the mouse mats that arn't the form ones, try find a "laser" mouse mat they are thin plastic type of material that should be easily stuck down with double sided tape.
One of our nurseries use eMacs on yellow laminate desks. The optical mice refuse to work without some kind of non-reflective surface to be used on.
As most of the kids haven't turned to thuggery yet they stick an A4 piece of black card to the desk and the mouse works fine on there.
We had to bring back mouse mats after moving to optical mice and new shiney desk tops the firm we used was Promotional Mouse Mats mousemats made in the UK for printed business gifts and their britemats, now students can't pick them apart and they seem not to "borrow" them to take home. The firm print anything on them you want and aren't too expensive.
Shiny surfaces generally mess with the optics of it in the same way a hair might (jumps around, is inconsistent etc)
We considered painting an area of the desk, but thought the kids would just scratch that off.
How about sticky-taping down a sheet of plain white paper?
we sticked our mouse mats down, most have been pulled off, nearly all them don't have the top anymore and the majority have at least one corner picked off them.
We've got mats similar to the britemats mentioned by spitfire - in 2 years they haven't managed to break one, wheras before we had the soft ones which were pulled to bits all the time.
I use optical mice or 'laser mouse' as some the kids call them
Get D+t to make you some out of wood, no problem then!
RM have stopped shipping them with our PC's, all optical so no need for mouse mats.
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