Easy DIY Magnet Board Play Area for Toddlers
Easter is coming. I love Easter. Virginia was only 6 months old last Easter, but now that she’s a bit older, I want to make sure she has a (reasonable and) fun holiday. In that spirit, I thought I would share a simple project with you that would make a great Easter idea for any toddler. I made this DIY magnet board play area in 2 nights (including paint drying time!).
Virginia started walking at 9 months, so she was only in the phase where she would sit on the kitchen floor and play in the same spot for all of 3 seconds months. Once she was mobile, cooking dinner or doing pretty much anything else in the kitchen meant that I had a little person between my legs, irresistibly holding her little arms out, and saying something sounding like “up” or “me” or “hey I’m so cute!” And I am a sucker, so I give in a lot. 🙂
I watched her when she was entertaining herself and noticed she loved the 4 little magnets we had on the fridge. They seemed to hold her attention. But, we only had these 2 little strips of magnetic area on the fridge that she could reach.
I wanted to give her a little place for magnets—a place to keep her happily busy so I could get some stuff done, but I wasn’t sure where or how. Right on cue, one day she pulled out one of the cookie sheets she so loves to play with, and I noticed it was magnetic. It was one I rarely used, so I set it aside.
I gave it a quick sanding, and then put two coats of our wall color paint on it. (Our wall color is Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. It’s a fabulous, totally versatile greige color. Just search it on Pinterest to be wowed. I know a ton of people who use this color.) The Grand Plan here was to have it blend right in the with the wall. Can you tell what fail is coming? 🙂
To mount it to the wall, I used old fashioned nails. First I found the stud. There weren’t two in the area I was planning to mount it, so I marked two spots along the same stud to nail the cookie sheet in. (You can see the nails in the photo clearly… along with part of my vertical level line drawn in). I didn’t try to drive the nails through the cookie sheet while it was in place. I did that first, downstairs, where I could really pound them through the metal. It took a little elbow grease. But once they were through, I nailed the cookie sheet to the wall, and voila! Magnet board mounted and magnet playspace created!
I think Virginia really likes her little magnet area. She certainly doesn’t mind all the chipping paint. 🙂 There’s my fail. I probably should have primed the cookie sheet first or left it unpainted. I suppose I could have used pretty metal purchased from a hardware store, but I liked that this was a zero dollar project. I also like that there are no sharp edges and I didn’t have to do any work to make this safe for her.
I hope you can find a use for this in your house! Even just setting aside a magnetic cookie sheet to take out and play with now and again (gotta rotate toys to keep them interested!) would be a great way to make magnet fun for your baby.
This project would be so easy to make ahead of time for Easter! Then the Easter Bunny could be so clever and bring magnets to play with. The magnets Santa brought Virginia are these Melissa and Doug animals and these GeoMags Baby (these are the same idea, but we have the farm animal version). I LOVE the GeoMags. They’re great for a younger toddler. She is really interested in them, tries to put them together different ways, and her little hands have no problem gripping them to take them on and off of the magnet board. The animals are great for her to grow into … right now she still just tries to eat them. 🙂
Let me know if any of you try this or any variations for Easter (or for any other time!). I’d love to see how yours comes out!