Monday, May 21, 2012

Magnetic Scrabble Boards: Home Made!

Before Charlie's and Ruby's birthdays, I had an idea about creating big magnetic wall boards for each of them.  In my head, the boards were painted funky colors and would be covered with scrabble pieces so the girls could spell words, create sentences, just have fun with them-- oh and maybe learn a little something too.  The inspiration came from this awesome-yet-slightly-above-their-skill-level exhibit at the Children's Museum of NH in Dover.  It's a series of paragraphs from The Cats of Mrs. Calamari, by John Stadler.  A young reader can literally fit together the pieces to create the story in full:

So off I went to the local Home Depot and picked up the biggest piece of sheet metal available and enough trim board to frame it.  I accosted the nice man in the lumber section, who walked me through the easiest way to get the trim to stick to the sheet metal.  He suggested I use thin plywood as a backing for the sheet metal, and he happened to have it pre-cut to the exact size of the metal.  He threw a tube of Liquid Nails in my cart too, saying I wouldn't need any other tools.  He also brought me to the paint aisle, where I picked up a couple cans of good-for-everything (and no need to prime) spray paint. 

Paint the sheet metal, then glue it to the plywood with Liquid Nails.

Paint the trim, then glue it to the sheet metal.

Next I stopped at (ANY department store that carries games) to grab a game of Scrabble, which happened to be on sale for 14 bucks.  Oh, and I grabbed a bunch of magnetic tape at Michael's too. 

Magnetic tape can be cut with scissors and sticks to the back of
anything, including scrabble pieces.

And Voila!

Now, with  Charlie's I got a little lazy and found (again, at Michael's) a 50% off large frame that the same-sized sheet metal fit into.  I painted the metal a different color, and the result is a cleaner, less home-made looking magnetic board.  Oh, I also found wooden letters at Michael's too, so Charlie's board has slightly different looking pieces on it to play with.  This is important, as the two girls are very much into ownership right now.  I can already hear them arguing over e's and s's.  The different-styled letters saves me from that little hassle.  Happy Birthday, my girls!