There are certain things I have acquired and saved for many years, things that I am convinced will come in handy. Items like bags (shopping, gift, resealable plastic, paper, etc.), twist ties (handy in the garden) and plastic spoons (many uses, including helping pudding and yogurt taste better…perhaps that is just me…). One of my favorite things to save, though, is magnets.
I do not mean that I go to the store and buy magnets I like to display on our refrigerator; instead, I am referring to those magnets that come to you for free, usually as promotional items. They show up at our house and get slipped into a kitchen drawer, waiting for the right project. And there have been many times that the right project has come up, and I have been grateful for the stash.
Much of my working life has involved being with younger children in some way. The younger the children, the more projects they make throughout the year, so it seems. Including magnets was a great way to turn a simple project into something the children were proud to save and display at home. Many of the preschool/lower elementary I did with children required generally easily accessible supplies, little skill on the child’s part, and could be done in a limited amount of time if needed. The supplies used were:
- A shape from construction paper or cardstock. These are easy to customize depending on the occasion.
-Depending on age and size of the crowd, you can pre- or die-cut the shapes. If you have the time, the children can cut out the shapes
- Mosaic material. Items of different colors, shapes and sizes help the projects stay unique.
-Lightweight items such as small scraps of paper, stickers or even colors/markers/paints could be used.
- Glue. Usually white school glue or glue sticks work for paper items, while a heavier tacky-type glue may be needed for more difficult items (and maybe the magnet)
- Magnets. The magnets do not have to fit the whole shape (although, make sure the finished product does not get too heavy for the magnet to hold up).
My favorite of these projects were 4″ white cardstock hearts (thank goodness for my access to a die-cut machine!) that children decorated with bits of pink, purple and red construction paper I had ripped out of scraps. The kids had fun, took their time and loved showing off the project at home. A more “sophisticated” crowd had fun decorating paper picture frames (again, die-cut machine) with mosaic paper. Once the paper back was attached, they could choose to use yarn and hole punches to hang the frame, or make it magnetic. Depending on how enthusiastic participants get with decorating, more magnet strips may have to be used.
My latest magnet use, though, stayed at home. Our family went on our first Spring Break trip together, and I ended up making souvenirs of the trip with our theme park passes. They were fast and extremely inexpensive – not something one usually associates with anything in Orlando! As I have access to a laminating machine, I decided to laminate our simple Universal Studios passes; the Disney tickets were already sturdy, and did not need any reinforcement (Disney AND Universal in one trip?!?!? Sometime I will talk about saving for that adventure!). Grab some magnets from the drawer, cut to size and glue! A quick, easy and inexpensive project that I am proud to display at home…speaking from experience.