Build Your Own Magnetic Building Blocks

July 26, 2017

Fun kids activities for those long days are right here. Fun and creative shapes, sparking your kid's imaginations with hours of fun creative play.

Thank you to the Artful Parent for introducing us to this mind expanding project. put together a wonderful post that we will share with you here:

This is an incredibly educationally creative project for so many wonderful reasons:

  • The shapes are fun to play with and very creative.
  • You can build modern abstract sculptures in all kinds of fun configurations.
  • You can explore magnetic properties and build in ways that are not possible with regular building blocks. In fact, because of the lightweight cardboard, you can build in ways that are not possible even with other magnetic building sets.
  • All we used were cardboard, some glue, and a coil of magnetic tape. Even the paint is optional as the magnetic shapes look awesome with or without it.
  • This activity does a great job of exposing your kids to STEM. Incorporating STEM into fun activities like this magnetic building kit is a great way to start introducing your kids to STEM!

Make Your Own Magnetic Building Set with Cardboard

Children can explore magnetic properties and engineering with hands on learning and open-ended exploration. Building cool contraptions in an open-ended way helps kids become creative thinkers and problem solvers, which is vital to their future success and even the future of our world. 

MATERIALS

  • Corrugated cardboard*
  • Utility knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint (optional)
  • Magnetic tape, adhesive
  • Scissors

*Save those boxes! Or stop by a store that’ll let you cart away their boxes. I went to an ABC Store for mine and found that the inserts to the liquor boxes work especially well for making these cardboard shapes as they are plain (no markings), not too thick, and somewhat pre-scored.

INSTRUCTIONS

First, you’ll make your 3D cardboard shapes.

Use a utility knife to cut cardboard strips against the grain. (You want the corrugation lines to run across the width of the cardboard strip.) I cut my cardboard pieces about 2 inches by 10-12 inches.

Fold your cardboard strip into your desired shape, such as a triangle, square, rectangle, or trapezoid.

Now that you have your fold marks, run a line of hot glue along one edge of the cardboard strip, then fold the cardboard back into shape, holding the two ends together for 30 seconds or so until the glue hardens.

Repeat with more cardboard strips and shapes. Make as many as you like! You can experiment with different shapes and sizes, too.

Paint the shapes the desired colors.

Now, apply your magnetic tape to the cardboard shapes. To do so, cut a section of the magnetic tape (perhaps 1-2 inches long depending on the size of the cardboard piece you’re applying it to). Bend the magnetic tape against its natural curvature to flatten it out, then remove the paper backing, and press the adhesive side to one side of the cardboard shape. You can add the magnet strips to one or all sides of the cardboard shapes as desired.

Painting before applying the magnetic tape works way better than the other way around.

Now, apply your magnetic tape to the cardboard shapes. To do so, cut a section of the magnetic tape (perhaps 1-2 inches long depending on the size of the cardboard piece you’re applying it to). Bend the magnetic tape against its natural curvature to flatten it out, then remove the paper backing, and press the adhesive side to one side of the cardboard shape. You can add the magnet strips to one or all sides of the cardboard shapes as desired.

Once the paint dries you can build with them!

Once again, thank you so much to The Artful Parent for sharing such a fabulous kids creative activity with us!

Child Safe Hypoallergenic Jewelry

Your daughter wants to be beautiful. You want her to be safe.

 




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