We have a longish road trip coming up, so I’ve been busily preparing activities and snacks to entertain the 4 year old, 3 year old and 8 month old.
Last night I put together these magnetic play trays for the older ones to use in the car.
The magnets will (in theory) help them to keep the pieces on the tray without dropping them into the pit of no return, aka, the floor of the car.
If you’d like to see how I made them, read on!
You will need:
- magnetic baking trays (check this before you stick down the paper – a few of mine weren’t magnetic!)
- round craft magnets
- animal figurines and cars (I got these in the party favour section of the $2 shop. Alternatively, you could use dinosaurs, army men, bugs, or anything else you can find!)
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
- double sided tape
- paper road map (You’re welcome to print off and use the one I designed here: magnetic-road-map. To make this rectangle tray and the circle one, I printed the page off 3 times.)
Measure sheets of paper and cut to size.
The rectangle baking tray was just slightly narrower than A4, so I only had to cut a thin bit off the long side.
For the circle tray, I matched up the roads on two sheets, turned them over and taped together. Then I traced the circle tray shape onto the back side and cut it out.
2. Apply double sided tape to baking trays and stick down paper map.
3. Glue magnets to the bottom of figurines.
I burnt myself and messed this part up a couple of times… In the words of my husband, go slow and be patient!
The cars were pretty straight-forward – apply a glob of glue to bottom of car, then press the magnet down onto it.
The animal figures were a bit more tricky. Some of them had a good base so it was easy to just glue and stick the magnet on (see chicken). But others only had legs (see pig), so I had to carefully put some glue on the magnet first, which was placed on my table. Then push them animal down onto it with just two legs, being careful to get glue on both legs. Then when it dried a bit, I went back and reinforced it with some more glue.
Then when that dried, I would repeat the process for the back two legs. You have to be really careful with this part, or the first magnet will pull the second magnet onto itself and then you will impulsively try to grab it and burn your fingers because hot glue it HOT.
*Cough cough* Don’t ask me how I know…
Keep going until all your figures have magnets.
And here is the finished product!