Thursday, February 24, 2011

Celebrating the Boy: Make a Magnetic Play Set

Oh, hey.  Hi.  Did you know that I am officially Celebrating the Boy over here today?  I am--it is all part of Made by Rae's and Made's annual tribute to crafting for boys--a full month of it, actually.  I know, it is cool.  The line-up of guest bloggers and projects Rae and Dana have going on over at their places is pretty amazing--I already have 3 projects I want to make from Rae's guests alone.  But wait--where are my manners?!?  Welcome to those of you who have taken the time to stop over here from Rae's place.   I am so happy to have you here.
So, let's get to the good stuff, shall we?  In honor of Celebrate the Boy month I have a little tutorial for you on how to make your very own magnetic play set.  This one is pretty simple to make--no special crafting skills like quilting, quilling or anything else starting with a "qu" required--really all you need to know how to do is search the internet for images, put those into a document, print them, cut them apart and stick them to some adhesive magnet sheets.  Yeah, I meant simple when I said it.
What I also love about this project is how endlessly customizable it is to whatever your boy's interests may be--dinosaurs, cars, monsters, robots, animals--or super heroes as the case may be at our house (specifically, DC Comic super heroes--because Beeper actually segregates his super heroes by comic book strain--DC or Marvel--and the twain shall never meet).
I got to thinking about putting together a project like this because I am always trying to come up with new things to keep Beeper distracted when the situation requires it--like when we are at a restaurant and Mr Beeper and I just want to drink some wine and have at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted adult conversation (did I hear someone say, That is what date night is for?  Yes, good point--but that would require having a babysitter that is nearer than 60 minutes away for us to pick up which is where our closest babysitter is located at the moment), or when in the car for longer trips (like when we need to pick up our babysitter)--you know the situations I am talking about.
Well, I am mildly obsessed with having a bag that is stocked with interesting distractions for him that I feel good about (i.e. no video games)--so this project was meant to contribute to that stash of stuff I keep in a small backpack in our coat closet.  And if you are interested, you can download the tutorial right here so you can make your own:
 I also thought this might be a good time for us to swap some info about what sorts of things you find particularly handy to distract your kids when the place or situation requires it.  Here are some of my favorites we have in our bag of distractions at the moment:
(from top Pop Zolo [mini creative building set], Monster Doodles [erasable creative drawing cards--pure genius], Knights Toob, a selection of Little Dover books [most of these are $1.50 per book and they are fantastic for distraction because they can literally fit in your pocket and the options are mind-boggling], Wild Toob, blank sketch book and a set of soy crayons)
Oh, and if you are in the market for a new bag in which to stash your own kiddie distractions, why not make the scavenger bag from Sew Grown or the messenger bag from Punkin Patterns--both are  Boy month projects over at Rae's place.  

Thanks again to those of you who took the time to stop by--it was nice having you and I hope to see you around here again. Oh, and if you have any favorite kiddie distractions, please do leave a comment and share--would love to hear about your favorite tricks.

30 comments:

Liz @ LivingMySweetLife said...

oh wow!!! this is such a great set! I LOVE celebrate the boy month, I wish it was twice a year!

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial, I will definitely be making a set for my oldest son!

Stacy said...

That set looks like so much fun for the boy! I will have to put that on my (long) to-make list. Thanks for sharing. :)

I picked up a bunch of learning flashcards in Target's dollar spot at one time. There are animals, ryhming, states, etc. Those are great to have in the purse, too.

Jayna Rae said...

Great idea! My husband also separates heroes by their publisher.

Megan said...

Oh, I love this! Definitely, definitely what my son needs to keep him busy!

Lynda said...

my little guy will love this! thank you so much!!!

Dayna said...

Hey, I'm so making a Go Diego Go set for my 4 year old. I will blatantly use his love of Diego to keep him quiet in church.

Here is a tip for grabbing back ground images. Put a DVD on your computer and pause it when there is a good back ground scene and grab a screen shot.

To do it on a PC hit the "prt sc" key and open photo shop or some other photo editing software and paste it on a blank page.

Now I just have to find the right kind of tin.

Thanks

Holly said...

Dayna--I ordered my tins from here:
http://store.scrapbooking-warehouse.com/tins.html

I also included the link in my downloadable tutorial--they are at the end.

Chris said...

Brilliant! I've always passed on toys like this in the store because they were so expensive...this is doable! Thank you kindly.

Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com said...

I love using magnets for kid projects and this one is brilliant - thanks so much for sharing!

P.S. Speaking of magnets, I featured your fabric alphabet magnets earlier this month :)

Rockie said...

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this project. My husband and I LOVE DC comics. He has a flash tattoo and I have a wonder woman tattoo. No we're not crazy.Thanks so much for sharing this awesome project.

Rockie @ Something Wonderful
www.rockiescrafts.blogspot.com

Hyla said...

I try to keep a hotwheel car or two in my purse at all times

~Beth D. said...

gonna have to get that monster mazes book! great idea!

Kurtis and Iva said...

This will be perfect for my kiddos.

Threaded Basil said...

You are a genius. This is so.cool.

Ammie said...

Hooray! This is so fun. I love making paper dolls and such. Hey. . . I could draw my own magnetic play set. . . Thanks for the fun inspiration.

Kelly said...

holy batman! how did you find such awesome backgrounds? my son is superhero obsessed!

Holly said...

Kelly--just got really specific in my image searches--searched for things like: "gotham city", "fortress of solitude", "outer space landscapes", "hall of justice"--you know, all the places you would look for a super hero.

Miss Stik said...

I bought some printable magnetic paper but didn't know what to do with it. Thanks for the tutorial!

Melissa said...

thank you for this post! I am going to have to make this for my son and nephews

Jude said...

I thought of doing something like this myself, but never got round to it - your set looks really professional, so I must have a go, I'm sure both my boys would love it!

kelly said...

This is AWESOME!!!

I am so thrilled firstly that some one has had the genius idea to do a boy crafting month, and secondly that you had such a great brainwave. I want to make a superhero one, a cars one and a dino one!

Thirdly...I love your list of things in your bag - we have the animals, the knights and a doodle book.

I've recently been buying the groovy tube sets (sold in amazon). Extinct and magical creatures are our two most favourite. The combine a book, toys and a fold away board game.

Thank you again :)

Holly said...

Kelly--we to have recently purchased some of those tube sets that come withe the book, game and tube of creatures. We gave Beeper the monster one at Christmas--and I think he got the mythical creatures one earlier on for one reason or another. They are great.

Amy said...

ROCK on, girl. You are amazing.

Louisa said...

I love the magnetic set! Thanks for sharing the idea!

Little Bohème said...

I got to get this for my... hum... husband...

Holly said...

Little Boheme--big people are welcome to play too. I do not judge. :-)

caralyn said...

What a fantastic tutorial!

Thank you Thank you Thank you! Little Man's birthday is in June...which gives me just enough time to print off these instructions, procrastinate for a month or two, then hurriedly create the entire set two nights before the big day!

Love your site... just love it.

spectacularfairywren said...

thank you thank you and thank you...

this is on the list and am going to the site you mentioned for MORE

Bought some of the monster doodles cards - they lasted 3 hours in the first sitting - i made a little pouch for them so they can all stay at home - see mine for details
http://spectacularfairywren.blogspot.com/2011/03/creative-space-doodle-pouch.html

another donkey design by kate said...

Such a great idea. I saw a ready made on recently but some of the pieces were too small for my little man so didn't buy it! So going to make him a Nemo one! Thanks fo sharing

Shauna said...

It looks like the tins you bought aren't available anymore. The only ones I can find are much smaller. Any idea where else I could get them?