Okay, so pure and true quiet time is not even a possibility here. However, I do get some quiet for about ten minutes or more. I’ve recently found this magnified for one of my busy buggies. The Belly Buggy is at an extremely challenging stage. She is 4, so she’s a big girl, but also being the middle child and spending a lot of time with a toddler, she is also a baby in her eyes.
For her birthday she got a magnet board that doubles as a dry erase. Okay, so the markers mysteriously ended up missing… But it still had the magnets…kind of. I still find them with my bare feet. And let me tell you, running through the house at 4am to see which kid is crying and I’ve barely just gotten to sleep right before this…well…my language becomes about as colorful as the magnets are.
I’m a pinterest bug, and I’ve been exploring quite a few kids activities, and thought that it would be easy and satisfying. Well, that doesn’t describe the feeling I’ve gotten since I started this. So I ended up working on a few learn and play activities to help both her with her learning and me with my sanity.
How to make your own Magnet Board Game
For this you need:
- Clear Contact Paper (Laminator works better but I do not have one currently)
- Magnet tape (or magnets that you can stick to the puzzle)
- Baking Sheet (I got mine at Dollar Tree)
- A picture (either in your mind or from a color book to trace will work)
- Start by Drawing your picture
I chose a teapot because Belly Bug really LOVES to play tea party. Choose your
main focus (the tea pot) then do a background setting to go with it. Use bright colors to keep their attention and focus on the game.
2. Draw your Main Shapes
Choose the shapes that your child needs to focus on learning and have at it. I have a shape chart here at home, displayed where they can see it. There are nine
Draw them large enough so that they can be centered into the teapot (or whatever you chose). Then color them.
3. Draw your next thing that matches your main drawing, or makes a set.
I drew teacups. On each teacup, they are colored the same as the teapot, but they also have a shape on them I drew 2 cups for each shape, and when I colored the cup I matched the shape color to the main shape.
4. Cut out all the small pieces
Yes, I said it. Now you get to sit there and cut out each
and every tea cup and shape. 27 smaller pieces. Don’t worry though, you can cheat a bit like I did. First off, I didn’t cut mine out…my husband did. I currently do not trust myself with tedious projects and scissors that requires close to precision cutting. Also instead of cutting the area of the cup handle out, I colored it the same color as the table cloth on the main picture so that it would mostly match no matter where it was stuck.
5. Laminate the pieces
So, I do not currently have a laminator. But I did have some clear contact paper from dollar tree. One thing that bothers me at times are these crafts that you are doing for a child or with a child and you have to dump a good fifty or so dollars into it. Not all of us can even
afford that at times. So, I decided this was a great time to show that you can come up with creative ways to replace other ideas at times. So contact paper, here I go…
You start by laying out your pieces on the contact paper just to see how much you need. Don’t peel it just yet. Once you have the amount that you need to stick your picutres to, cut it, then measure out another piece the same size and cut that. Now, peel one and lay it on
a flat working surface. Then lay your pieces on the sticky part of the contact paper.
After all the pieces are stuck in place, peel the second piece of contact paper and lay it on top to seal the two together. When I did this, I peeled it back little by little so that I could keep it as straight as possible. Also when you do this, do it slow so that you can keep the air bubbles out. But don’t worry too much about bubbles that it takes you hours to do. You may still have some creases and bubbles, and that is alright.
6. Cut out all the pieces
Now that you have them in one large piece of paper…its time to cut..again. But this time leave a bit of an edge around the piece. Or in the case of the cups you
could just cut more of a circle around them. However you feel like doing it, so long as it isn’t cut right back to the paper edge.
When you are cutting these out (and leaving the edge or space like I said, hopefully), you can now smooth out all the other imperfections fairly easily. So you should be sticky free, bubble free, and crease free.
7. Attach Magnet Tape
Now, take your magnet tape and stick a piece to the back of each small piece. On
the larger picture you can place a few pieces on the edge so that the picture will stay on the board.
8. Hand Your Child the Cookie Sheet
Yep, just hand it over. And when they look at you a bit confused, and before they get the idea they get to go bake cookies all by themselves (yes mine would think that), have yourself a good giggle. Then hand them the rest. They can use either side of the cookie sheet, and the main picture will stick to it. Choose a shape to stick to the tea pot, and let them find the matching cups.
I tell you what, I actually got a good 45 minutes, give or take, of my busy bug being busy ONLY with the teapot game. (Yes, that is what she calls it.) Talk about a blessing!!! And she is identifying her shapes much better now as well. So, DOUBLE BLESSING!!!
Plus there are tons of things you can use this for now. She can use her alphabet magnets (which are now safely tucked in a bag with the magnet board toys so that I don’t step on quite as many.), I made her magnet sticks to go with the board as well. The possibilities are endless…
Give it a shot, and tell me what you think about it. Or if you used a different picture, let me know! Leave me a comment below and tell me your thoughts and experiences and even more ideas if you’d like.