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Dinner time in our house is a bit hectic. I often have the twins pulling at my legs while trying to navigate my way through main dish, sides and filling up milk cups. It can get tricky (and a bit overwhelming) when everyone is so hungry that calm seems to be lost. I needed a way to distract the kids in the kitchen if they were not going to leave the kitchen while I was in the middle of dinner prep time. My solution: a flexible, lightweight magnetic felt board that is a simple DIY toy for kids. (And sanity saver for moms!)
I let my kids help with dinner when it is safe and appropriate, but at times I need to do it on my own. Here are the steps if you would like to make a felt board that can stick on any magnetic surface.
DIY Magnetic Felt Board
brown paper bag or piece of poster board
2 heavy books (to use as weights)
1 piece of felt cut 2 inches larger (on all sides) than the paper bag
Making the DIY Magnetic Felt Board
Step 1) With the brown paper bag folded flat, place some white glue under the bottom flap, between the two long sides and just under the two sides at the top of the bag. You are gluing the edges together to help add some stability and keep the bag together as one piece.
Step 3) Cut a piece of felt fabric slightly larger (1-2 inches should work) than the front of the bag. Lay the bag on top of the fabric.
Step 4) Run a bead of glue about 1/2 inch in from the edge of the paper bag. Fold in the edges of fabric like you would wrap a present trimming the corners so that the fabric lays as flat as possible. Remember this is the back, so it needs to be as flat as it can be, but doesn’t need to be perfectly trimmed!
Step 4) Press and hold the edges of the fabric down so that the fabric adheres to the bag. Let it dry.
Step 5) Place the bag back side up. Using a role of magnetic tape, cut strips slightly shorter than two of the sides of the paper bag (as shown in the picture). Peel off the paper backing from the magnetic tape and press the strip of magnet along the fabric edge on the backside of the bag. (The magnet tape will be stuck about 1 inch in from the outside edge of the bag sides.)
Step 6) You are done! You have a portable, magnetic felt board.
I stick mine on the front of the fridge with a baggie to hold felt shapes for play. We have had simple geometric shapes and pieces to make felt snowmen. You can use any free printable from sites such as Making Learning Fun to create felt board pieces. Simply color, cutout and laminate, then attach the hook side of velcro to the back of the piece. It can now be stuck to the felt board.
Even toddlers can play with the felt board. You can cut out different sized circles from scrap felt, or a variety of different shapes. Even the letters of their name, animal cutouts, or different colors can be explored.