DIY- How to Make Magnetic Toys

IMG_3957I use magnetic toys a lot at my home and in my work as an occupational therapist.  I love that they stay in place on magnetic surfaces, and that there is a great variety of toys to make or buy and surfaces to use them on.  One of the best features is that magnetic surfaces can be used as a vertical surface- see my post on the benefits of using vertical surfaces in play.   I also enjoy using magnetic toys on a chalkboard or white board and letting my children draw scenes to go with the magnets.

The most common magnetic surfaces families have are the fridge or a cookie sheet.  You may also find a lot of art easels or white boards that are also magnetic.  The most used magnetic surface in our home is a magnetic chalkboard I made- see my post here on how to make this great toy for your home.

How to make your own at home:

  • All you need is lightweight material that hot glue will stick to.  A trip to the craft store or even the dollar store will yield tons of options.  See my home-made options below for ideas
  • I only use weak magnetic tape, cut to the size needed.  My children are are not old enough to trust with the stronger magnets or circular magnets.  Please use caution as choking and other major issues can occur if strong magnets are swallowed.
  • Hot glue is my favorite way to attach them- not perfect, but it has been sufficient.  The adhesive on the magnetic tape does not hold well, so some kind of extra glue is needed.

Favorite magnetic toys I have made:

Not everyone is crafty, so luckily there are also lots of magnetic toys available to buy for all ages.

Favorite magnetic toys I have bought:

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.