I've said it before and it is still true...my favorite garage sale find of all time is this giant dry erase board. It is in L's room and he plays with it many times throughout each day. We've even taken it outside and painted on it!
I've been making homemade magnets
for his board for quite some time.
The simplest ones are the fun wood pieces they have at Hobby Lobby for usually around 67 cents.
I hot glue a magnet to the back and thats it!
Sometimes I buy random ones, but I like to buy a few at a time that tie in with a theme...makes for great imaginitive play and independent story telling!
I've also created backdrops to add to the story telling element. Most of these are just laminated construction paper, and then attaching thin magnetic tape to the back (no hot glue required). As simple as that is...I've noticed that with the addition of these backdrops, L spends much more time with his board, creating all sorts of stories with his magnets.
And there are also things i've printed off the internet, laminated, and made into magnets also. Like the planets you see in the above SPACE picture, or the farmhouse in the picture below.
I've also combined my barely there artistic skills to color pictures and cut out shapes with construction paper to create magnets as well.
Like the tree below...
and the sun and clouds here...just cut from construction paper and laminated.
We've used these magnets in so many ways...for play and learning!
In this picture, we were making up a story about the letters C, A, T that were stuck up in the tree, and the fire department had to come rescue them.
I made this huge hippo magnet with from a picture I found online. I make a deep and silly voice for the hippo and "he" tells L what letters he's hungry for. L finds the letter and "feeds" the hippo.
Making magnets is super easy!
if you don't have a laminator, you can use clear contact paper to laminate!
and then all you need are magnets, which are pretty inexpensive, and a hot glue gun.
I buy the small round ones for making most magnets
and thin magnetic tape for backdrops and thin laminated sheets because you want the backdrops to lay flat against the board or else the other magnets wont stick to the backdrop.
and of course, you don't need a whiteboard for magnetic play...you've got a pretty large kitchen appliance that will probably work just fine!