We like to work with shapes a lot in our home. My daughter loves creating with shapes & I love watching her. Her imagination is flourishing & it is an amazing thing to see. We use these shapes to make abstract art, holiday crafts & we even use them for imagination play in the bath. Last night, my daughter came across a photo of shape magnets for kids in one of her kid’s magazines.. Her eyes automatically lit up. “Mama, I want these.” My eyes lit up too when I realized that I could make them myself at home.
We recently went on vacation. While on vacation we took a few days to visit with my husband’s uncle. During our stay at his uncle’s house, Mai was offered some magnets to play with. In the pile of magnets, I saw a magnet made out of a Coke can & thought it was extraordinary. I studied the magnet & it looked like an easy enough design. When we returned home, I went on the hunt for soda cans to see if I could make my own.
I managed to collect Coke, Diet Coke & Sprite cans thanks to my friends at work.
Here is all that you need to do. Rinse out the inside of your cans. Cut into your can and cut out the inside portion removing the top and bottom of the can.
Wipe off any water or residue and lay your can cutouts out flat.
Draw out the shape or design of your magnet on the inside of the can.
Use the edge of a pointy object to stamp in details for your magnet. We used a skinny Phillips head screwdriver.
Glue your can print side up onto a piece of foam sheet.
Cut around your design again.
Glue pieces of magnet to the back of your foam.
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It has been really wonderful watching our daughter’s creativity and artistic ability grow. Whether it is doing a craft together or watching her draw or paint on her own, I love to watch her create.. She loves to draw.
On the left she drew a butterfly & the picture on the right I originally thought was her, but I was mistaken.
“Mai is that you?”
“No, that is the lady at McDonald’s that gives me delicious food.”
We have piles of drawings everywhere. As much as I would like to keep all of her drawings, it would just be impossible. There are some though that warrant a special place. Mai drew this family portrait the other day. She made sure that she even included Dukey. She was so proud & immediately brought it to the refrigerator.
I loved her family portrait. I was proud too. I wanted to make sure that it stood out among all the other art on our fridge. We decided to make a refrigerator magnet frame for our special picture.
I cut around her drawing. We grabbed a handful of jumbo craft sticks and laid them out on the counter to see how many we would need. I wanted Mai to decorate the frame. She chose to color the sticks with markers.
After she colored all of the sticks, I glued the sticks together side by side with a glue gun.
I glued the drawing in the center of the sticks.
I glued 4 more craft sticks over the top of the drawing, two on top & two on the bottom.
For added stability we added one more stick to the top center and the bottom & then labeled Mai’s drawing.
For the finishing touch, I glued a strip of plain magnet to the back of the frame.
Our family drawing now has a place up front for all to see.
Toddlers are incredible. The amount of information that they take in, learn and retain on a daily basis is astounding. I am fascinated by my daughter & also often surprised by her as well. From the time she was an infant, we surrounded her with the alphabet. I sang the Abc’s to her when she would cry, which was all the time. We also had a few visual aids…
Mai’s Nanna made this beautiful ABC quilt for her. It hangs on the fence in her playroom.
With all of the alphabet jammed down her throat, it was no wonder that she learned her Abcs early. She has been sounding out her letters for some time now. She will play with her refrigerator magnets often while I am cooking. “B! Bbb bbb boy” You are right baby, B is for boy. She is growing up so fast that I can hardly believe it. With Mai sounding out her letters so much, I came up with a game that could hopefully challenge her phonics learning and entertain her.
This was a cheap and easy to make activity for my toddler. Just line muffin tins with pictures of different animals & objects and let her match up the alphabet magnet to the coordinating word. For example, matching the A to apple or B to banana.
What you will need:
2 muffins tins
Printouts of clip art objects to cover every letter of the alphabet (There are only 24 spots in the tins but you can switch out the other 2)
Using the muffin tin as a stencil, outline the clipart & cut to fit inside of the tin.
Gather your magnets.
Watch your little one with pride as they pick up the letters and place them on the correct pictures. “M! Mmmm mm m monkey.”
I was overcome with pride watching my daughter do this activity. I have to admit that my eyes watered a little as she completed the tins. I could tell she was proud too. Next step…reading.
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