Hello Everyone! Lately, I feel like I have been hard at work, crafting and DIYing in literally every space in our house. I have been jumping from one project to another, one room to another…and in all honesty, kind of driving myself a little crazy. I finally decided that I needed to focus on one thing at a time. Not only am I able to give each project the attention it deserves, but then it also gets done a lot quicker!
For the last week, I hunkered down and focused on a project that has been stewing in my brain for weeks now. I am SO SO excited how it all came together! Take a look at our latest playroom addition!
This project was brought about from several different inspirations. I had an extra piece of sheet metal in the garage from another project (that I haven’t shown you yet 😉 that was begging to be put to good use. Then I found these cute little pails in the paint section at the hardware store and was itching to use them in Henry’s new playroom. But what really tipped the project from thoughts into action was that I was SO tired of stepping on magnetic letters in our tiny kitchen! I don’t know about your kids (if you have them), but my son prefers to take magnets OFF the refrigerator rather than put them on. After weeks of stomping on plastic Ns and Qs, I dragged the extra sheet metal out of the garage and put it up against the wall in his playroom. Then, as things do with me, one idea led to another and I ended up with this!
As a stay-at-home mom, I am always looking for fun, creative ways to bring a little more education into our day. Don’t get me wrong! We spend a lot of our time outside at the parks, tootling around the yard, and inside banging and building, singing and dancing. Amidst the fun and leisure, however, I try to squeeze in some dedicated learning time each day, where we focus on new words, skills, animal sounds, body parts and anything else that is age appropriate.
This little learning station is chock-full of creative and educational activities for both Henry and I to enjoy…let me show you what all is here!
On top of our magnetic learning station, I have chalk, crayons, and colored pencils organized and at the ready. We don’t use these items on the magnet board, but instead on our play table close by. I was tired of digging these things out of boxes and bins every time Henry wanted to color, so now they are easily accessible to me (and not to him!).
The other items on the shelf are purely decorative…obviously more for my enjoyment than for his!
The stars of the magnetic learning station are the four pails hung on pegs below the shelf!
Let’s take a look and see what’s in all those pails!
One pail holds all those magnetic letters that used to be on my kitchen floor; another holds a bunch of printed and laminated flashcards (colors, alphabet, shapes, animals); and a third pail holds magnetized and laminated funny face parts! The fourth bin is currently empty…but you can be sure my brain is working hard to come up with another creative idea! (I know you’re wondering where I found all these printables…come see me later this week, I’ll have all the resources for you!)
Each pail has been given a chalkboard stripe to make for easy labeling!
Now…let’s get playing and learning!
One of the most obvious activities is spelling with the magnet letters!
However, my son is no where near the spelling age…so I have some other ideas up my sleeve! Like…color matching using the flashcards and letters:
And letter matching, using the alphabet flashcards with the letters:
The flashcards are also great for building vocabulary and learning sounds!
My absolute favorite activity is to build funny faces:
I came up with this idea because my son doesn’t like to point to face parts on his own face. I thought this might be a fun way to learn “eyes,” “nose,” “hair,” etc! It helps that all the faces end up looking hysterical!
There are really tons and tons of possibilities here! While some of these activities are a little advanced for my son right now, I am excited to have these resources prepared so that when he is ready, they are and ready too!
Right now, the novelty of putting things on (and taking things off ) the magnetic surface and looking at all the pictures is exciting enough for Henry. My instinct says that even just exposure to the letters, numbers, animals, textures, shapes, etc are all good for his growing brain, right?!?
Fair warning: be prepared for your little one to try putting everything and anything up on the magnetic board (below left)! Oh…and hang the pails high enough that they can’t reach (bottom right), or else you’ll be picking up face parts and letters and flashcards all day long 🙂
Are you interested in making your own magnetic learning station? Come back later this week for Part II, where I will detail every last step for how I pulled this all together!