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Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Teaching Toy: Magnetic Shapes

Teaching a toddler shapes, numbers, colors, ect. can be a bit of a challenge. I've done my best to come up with new ways to teach them to my son.  I'll pull out all of his toys and help him sort them by color.  I've printed off different sheets to help him learn his shapes.  We use number shaped cookie cutters when playing with play dough, but it is hard to know what really works best.  Not too long ago I  made some felt magnetic numbers for our fridge. Clark loves to move them around and try to count.  He understands that they are numbers despite the fact that he still can't identify each one.  Just this week I decided to add some felt magnetic shapes to the collection.

This time I decided to make each shape it's own color.  Like the magnetic numbers, the shapes have enclosed magnets.  I love that I don't have to worry about the magnets falling off the back of the shapes and finding their way into my son's nose, ear, or stomach.

I stitched the name of each shape with embroidery floss. Hopefully after we've successfully learned numbers, shapes, colors, and letters we can work on reading (don't worry I know that this will be a few years).
They are so tiny!

 After making the magnetic numbers I ordered some great little magnets.  They are tiny, very strong.  Even though there is  a layer of fabric between the magnetic and the refrigerator, there is a strong attraction.  I can't wait to try these little magnets out on some magnetic bibs.

If you are interested in learning how to make the magnetic numbers continue reading.

I've decided to share a simple tutorial for making magnetic numbers, the process for the shapes is basically the same.  You may notice that I used different magnets when I made the magnetic numbers.  They were an extra strong craft magnet.  They work well, but aren't as powerful as the neodymium magnets.  The pictures are pretty self explanatory, but here we go.

Gather materials.  Cut out felt numbers, cut three pieces of felt.  Your back piece will be the largest, the white (center) piece will be the smallest, and your top piece will be somewhere in the middle.  

Place magnet on the center of the largest piece of felt.

Place the smallest piece of felt or batting on top of the magnet.

Stitch around the magnet to create a secure pouch.  This could be whatever shape you want.  You will want to make sure that the magnet doesn't move around when stitching around it.  

Sew or glue your number to your medium sized piece of felt.

Place the top piece of felt onto the bottom piece, with magnetic pouch sandwiched between the two layers.

Stitch around the perimeter of the rectangle to attach all layers.

If you want stitch on your magnets it can be done before all of the layers are stitched together.  This is a fun way to help your children learn the basics.  Now I need to make a storage bag for the numbers and one for the shapes. 

Don't forget to visit my Link Party Page to see where I'm partying today.


Jill said...

I like that the magnet is hidden inside. Then it can't get ripped off or swallowed!

Josh and Amanda said...

I love the shapes and the numbers! I like that you hid the magnets inside as well.

Unknown said...

I love these! The handstitched lettering is so sweet. (need to check out those magnets on amazon. thx)

I am hosting a link party on my blog next weekend about words/quotes (The Weekend Word Search). Please consider stopping by! Your project would be a great addition.

Crystal said...

Great idea! I think I'll be making some of thes for my little ones.

Amy @ Chicy-Creations said...

How fun! I've been wanting to do some letters like this! My little girl would LOVE these.

chris said...

This is such a darling idea. I will have to remember this one...what a great stocking stuffer idea.

Unknown said...

Thanks for linking up to the Weekend Word Search. I loved this project and featured it this weekend! Stop by and grab a featured button.

Red Roof Patterns said...

What a great tutorial. I posted this on my website that features free felt tutorials. Here is the link:

МамаФиалка said...

Super! Super! Super! Super! Super! Super!

Anonymous said...

Do you need to make sure the magnet polarity is facing the right direction or will it turn over somehow in your pouch when attracted to the metal?

Magnets Toys said...

A Teaching Toy: Magnetic Shapes. Teaching a toddler shapes, numbers, colors, ect. can be a bit of a challenge. I've done my best to come up ...

Henry Arthur said...

This is amazing. You have done great work by making these magnetic shapes. Interestingly, you have stitched Educational Toys to teach your toddler. Yes, teaching a toddler shapes and numbers is a challenge. I should say that you are a smart mom. Keep posting