Monday, March 23, 2009

Magnets for Box Activities

In our learning room we have a large magnet wall. We had toyed with a smaller version we made with magnetic paint on some masonite we cut down, but it wouldn't hold our marble run. Magnetic paint sounds cool, but the truth is you need many, many layers before it starts to really work well. Then I wanted a large magnetic white board. White boards are cheap. Do you know what happens when you put a layer of steel in one? Let's just say the price goes up exponentially. Really. And in case you are The big or little "magnetic" white boards found at WalMart aren't strong enough either. I know because I took a track piece to test on many boards. Goldilocks was not impressed.

So, Dan, being the guy he is, proposed a piece of sheet metal. I already had the white board from Lowe's for $10 for the whole 4'x6' piece. He drove to a local fabricator's shop and showed them what he wanted to use the sheet metal for. They were all familiar with our local science center's board and knew exactly what we wanted to do. They hooked us up with a 25 gauge piece of sheet metal for a mere $40. And it's big enough for four kids to use and not fight. Awesome.

Simple phonics magnets from Leap Frog- these tell you the word you spell or the letter you put in the little computer part

Good ol' fashioned magnetic letters in upper and lower case. These are nice and big. I got them from Discount School Supply.

Magnet wands with chips and balls- these are also from Discount School Supply (these are used on the floor)

The magnetic wall. It's 4' x 8'. Yes. We are absolutely the kind of people that will nail a honkin' piece of sheet metal to their wall. We've been discussing an addition. The metal walls stays. Or gets put back. I'm just sayin'.
I'm putting these in a few box categories depending on the magnet set. Lots of good letter recognition and science here. Any of these would be a welcome break in the middle of doing seat work activities from the boxes.


Anonymous said...

we used for our white/mag board. my husband works in a shop so it was easy to get cut down if we needed it but they offer lots of sizes. i love mcmaster carr! beware though... slightly addicting.

Heather said...

LOL!!!! Anon my husband LOVES McMaster Carr!! He thinks they ROCK.

His favorite part is how stuff arrives like the next day no matter when you order it.

I had to do a double take because only he would make a comment like that!

He uses them at the lab all the time.

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Marya said...

Can we come over and play? Your house is too much fun! I just got my workbox book yesterday. I'll be checking you out for ideas!

Jenny said...

Where did u get the sheet of metal?