Do you have a bazzilion magnets lying around the house, or cluttering up your fridge? You know, those magnetic advertisements that so many companies hand out, that you don't really want anymore and probably didn't even want to begin with?
Instead of them cluttering up your fridge- make a fun creative toy for your kids out of them.
Make magnetic tangrams!
Ok, I don't know if these can definitely be called tangrams, because they're not puzzles, but they're close enough that that's the name I chose for them.
Just pull off the paper layer of the advertisement from the magnet and you'll be left with a white layer. If you don't mind more work, you can pull off all the white so yours is entirely black, but I didn't bother.
Then cut into different shapes of different sizes.
I made circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, semi circles, arcs, quarter circles, diamonds, ovals, cloud shapes, etc... in all different sizes and dimensions.
Once they're cut out, get designing!
The possibilities are limitless.
Rainbow and beginning of a train and a man.
A more complete train with tracks and clouds in the sky.
A house, car, tree, and sun.
Somehow that picture below contains a robot. I don't see it, but thats what my kids claim.
You can make more or less sophisticated pictures with these magnetic shapes. My 3 year old enjoyed making pictures with this, my 5 year old enjoyed it, and heck, even I am enjoying playing with it.
Fun for the whole family.
And free too!
Best of all- even though it has little pieces, they don't get lost as easily as other toys with little pieces because they are stuck onto the fridge.
The other thing I really like- my 5 year old son Lee is a wonderful artist, drawing beautiful pictures far beyond his age capabilities. Because of that, Ike, 3, feels he can't live up to his brother's drawing skills and flat out refuses to draw anything because "I can't do it as good as Lee".
He'll "draw" with magnets.
Finally a way he's willing to let his own creativity shine through! He was the one who made the "robot".
(I'm trying to work on this issue with him, don't worry- I am not content to leave it as is that he refuses to do something because he compares himself to his brother and thinks he isn't good enough.)
P.S. This wasn't my idea originally- I first saw this idea on a blog a couple of years back, just don't remember which blog.
Do you have any extra magnets lying around the house? Does this look like something your kids (or you) would enjoy? Do you think you'll make this?