10/3/14

DIY: Kids Magnet Board Tutorial


This has been one of my most expensive kid projects, but it has been worth every penny. I started with a dry erase magnetic board from Hobby Lobby found here. The board is $24 but make sure you use a 40% coupon or wait until it goes on sale. To hang the magnet board, I used the screws that came with it and made sure I secured them to the studs in the wall.

Now this is the fun part. I took my kids to the wood crafts section of Hobby Lobby and let them each pick a handful of wooden cutouts. You can find most of them online here. They cost in the range of 50 cents to $1.00 each. You can buy them cheaper if they aren't painted but I found it was worth my time and money to buy them painted.


Here are the materials you will need to finish the project:

1. Craft foam. This is sold at all craft stores as sheets in tons of colors. They also sell them in bags at The Dollar Tree but only in limited colors.

2. Round magnets. I buy them in packs of 50 because I use them often for $8 here.

3. Magnetic tape. This stuff is awesome and you can find it here from Hobby Lobby. It comes in a dispenser similar to Scotch tape.

I used hot glue to attach round magnets to the wooden cutouts, but super glue would work great too. Make sure you take the purchase stickers off of the backs before you glue, so the glue sticks to the wood, not the sticker.

Next, separate all the cutouts into categories. We have space, ocean, princess, and transportation. I let the kids play with the cutouts on the magnet board to see what else they needed for their categories. For example, my son needed stars, more planets, and a moon for his space theme. I grabbed a pen and started drawing planets and stars onto the different color craft foam and then cut them out. I used hot glue to attach different embellishments onto the planets. Put a piece of magnetic tape on the back and they are ready to go. On the backs, I wrote all the planet's names. This was a big hit when I taught the solar system for preschool.




For the princess theme I made trees, sun, clouds and grass. The picture below is of the backs so you can see where I put the magnetic tape. The fences are wooden cutouts from the store that were already painted, so I just put magnetic tape on the backs.





I love the ocean theme. I cut out waves and sand strips out of the craft foam and placed a long strip of magnetic tape to the backs. 



The transportation theme has many curvy black roads made from the craft foam and a stop sign as well. 



I then cut out some strips in all sizes and colors so they could build whatever they wanted. My son uses them to make houses for the animals. I have a package of Melissa and Doug animals found here and lots of alphabet magnets that I have purchased and been given. Old puzzle pieces make great magnets too!




To store the magnet board pieces, I put each theme into a gallon size plastic bag and place them in a basket for a more organized playtime. I feel like my kids play longer with the magnet board when it is more organized and they know where each piece is. 


Hope you enjoy this project, because we certainly do!

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