Try buying a couple of magnetic cookie sheets from a dollar store. Sometimes the cheaper sheets are not magnetic so it’s a good idea to test it out in the store before you buy them. Often there is some magnetic kitchen item in the aisle nearby like a chip clip to test it out.
When you get the cookie sheets home you can use them right away. You can then take the magnets in the kitchen, the living room, or even in the car without a big mess!
Here are 3 ways to use them to support early learning for you to base on your child’s development:
Model how the magnets can stick and build designs or patterns. Let your child manipulate on their own sheet.Use language to express why they stick on one way or another. Talk about the shapes, colors and patterns you notice. For example, if using letters or shapes you can discuss the curves, the lines, the similarities or differences. This will help them begin to notice and analyze things they manipulate and see which can lay a foundation for later skills.
Make patterns on the board and point them out. For example, circle, square, circle, square work for younger children or for older children you can try vowel, consonant, vowel, consonant. Ask them what might come next and you’re integrating math and literacy!
Create a word that’s familiar to the child such as their name or mom or dad. Then ask them to copy you on their board. Or for older children learning to spell you can put a word on your sheet, they can put a word on their sheet and then share with each other to take turns reading their word.