Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board

“Do you think you could get the front off our old washing machine?”

I am pretty sure my husband wasn’t impressed by my question at 3pm on a holiday Monday when he was painting our new laundry. But he was the one who kept the broken washing machine, you know, ‘just in case it might come in handy’, so I knew he’d see it as a challenge and rise to it.

Of course that is exactly what happened. Half an hour later her carried in the front panel of our washing machine. Nothing a little angle grinding, hitting with a hammer, filing, and tenacity couldn’t achieve.

It wasn’t until this large piece of white metal was sitting in our living room did he ask me what I wanted it for.
“I just thought a mega magnet board would be fun” I replied… and boy have we had fun with it!

Of course you don’t have to rip the panel off your washing machine to make a magnet board, you can buy an oil pan/drip tray and use that. Teach Preschool shares some simple, step by step, instructions on how to make one.

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board

At first we played with our Magformers magnetic building set on the mega magnet board and had so much fun creating 3D constructions and patterns that I was inspired to make some more magnet sets to play with.

Here are three easy ways to play with magnets that we’ve used on our mega magnet board today.

Homemade Wooden Magnets

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board.  Homemade wooden magnets

My husband is not the only one who likes a challenge that involves tools. In between cooking dinner, and bathing kids, I decided I wanted to make some wooden magnets, so I dashed out to the wood pile and rescued a few bits of firewood and quickly sawed them into slices.

While the roast cooked, I painted some of them with our marker paint and left them to dry (yep we’ve used the marker paint a lot lately).

This morning I cut up pieces of old promtional fridge magnets and hot glued them to the back of the wood slices. I also glued magnets to some coloured icey-pole (popsicle) sticks. Make sure you glue the magnets on well and are aware of the choking hazard if you are playing with small children.

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board.  Homemade wooden magnets

These wooden magnets were lots of fun and can be used in so many ways.

Magnets and White Board Markers

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board. Picture magnets and white board markers

Inspired by the big white space of the magnet board I hunted out some whiteboard markers and picture magnets.

We have some lovely wooden picture magnets with vehicles and animals on them, but you could make your own easily using stickers like Christie did at Childhood101. You could even print out our Space Crazy play dough accessories and turn them into magnets, or any of our printable puppets.

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board. Picture magnets and white board markers

We made a map with a farm, a zoo, a hospital and a beach!

Printable Shape Magnets

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board.  Free Printable shapes to make magnets

You didn’t think I’d play with magnets and not make a printable did you? Of course not!

Our printable robot magnets have been played with till they fell apart so I knew some more printable magnets were definitely in order. This time I kept it super simple and went with a sheet of triangles and a sheet of squares and rectangles in bright colours.

You can download the free pdf file for the triangles here, and for the squares and rectangles here.

I printed ours right onto printable magnet sheets but you could print them onto photo paper, cut them out and glue old fridge magnets to the back for the same effect.

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board.  Free Printable shapes to make magnets

It is amazing what you can create with just a few simple shapes.

Magnet Madness! - 3 DIY ways to play with a magnet board

Noah played with the magnets all afternoon and then the big kids came home from school and played with them too. Now the magnet board is covered in a crazy magnet madness and waiting to be played with again tomorrow!

Now I am wondering what else we can use on our mega magnet board.
I would love you all to share your ideas!


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Sprinkle Sticks!

April 21, 2014

Sprinkle Sticks - easy and delicious sweet snack

It’s been a busy long weekend, with Easter, an important birthday, and an impromptu bonfire party with friends. It’s been one of those weekends where you feel happily exhausted by the end of it. With school back tomorrow we planned a quiet day today. I did five loads of laundry, cooked a roast dinner, and sent the kids outside to play all afternoon in the wild wind.

To fuel the outside play I made a quick and easy sweet snack that we’ve christened ‘Sprinkle Sticks!’

Inspired by these amazing looking Apple Pie Fries from Oh Bite It ( check out her Pizza Fries which look awesome too!) we decided to make a berry version with lots of added sprinkles!

They are like little pastry jam sandwiches crossed with pastry fairy bread. Sweet sticky berries on the inside, sprinkles on the outside, and cut into little sticks so you can gobble them up really fast!

Sprinkle Sticks - easy and delicious sweet snack

We made two batches today, one using puff pastry and one using short crust pastry. You could use homemade pastry, but we used the frozen stuff which makes this recipe very quick and easy. We taste tested both versions and both were good, but we liked the light crunchiness of the puff pastry better than the shirt crust pastry, but both were yum!

The recipe below is enough to make one round of sprinkle sticks using 2 sheets of pastry, which was more than enough for an afternoon snack for the 6 hungry people in our family. Just make up more jam and berry mixture if you need to make lots of sprinkle sticks, they’d be great for a party!

You could fill these with so many different jams or fruits, and you could co-ordinate your sprinkles to match the season, holiday or celebration!

5.0 from 2 reviews

Sprinkle Sticks!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry (or short crust pastry if you prefer)
  • 1½ tbsp berry jam
  • a handful of frozen berries
  • 100s and 1000s or sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C and line a large baking sheet with non-stick paper.
  2. Lay out your frozen pastry sheets on some baking paper or non-stick sheets. When the pastry has defrosted sprinkle each sheet with a generous amount of 100s and 1000s or whatever kind of sprinkles are your favourite. Using a rolling pin, gently roll over the sprinkles pressing them firmly into the pastry.
  3. Whiz a handful of frozen berries in the food processor or blender till they become tiny little chunks. Mix the berry chunks with the berry jam.
  4. Turn one pastry sheet sprinkle side down and spread it with the berry and jam mixture. Do not be tempted to put lots of jam on the pastry sheet… spread it thinly and leave a small border around the edge of the pastry.
  5. Place the other pastry sheet, sprinkle side up, on top of the jam mixture and press down gently around the edges.
  6. Using a pastry cutter or a knife cut 1 cm strips then cut those strips in half or in thirds across the middle to make small ‘sticks’.
  7. Carefully put your sprinkle sticks onto your baking tray, making sure none are touching. Cook in a hot oven for 15 minutes or until the sprinkle sticks have puffed up and turned a light golden brown.

 

Sprinkle Sticks - easy and delicious sweet snack

Find more family friendly recipes here!

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