How to Make Your Own Mini Magnetic Blocks

How to make (and play with) your own colourful mini magnetic wooden blocks!

Who doesn't love to play with blocks? I have strong memories as a child of building towers out of the cuisenaire rod sets in my mum's classroom waiting for her to finish after school. I've also confessed my love for magnets before too when I wrote about some task cards I'd made. You can click here to read that post, it remains one of my most read.


Now I'm creating memories for my own children by making some colourful mini magnetic blocks for play!

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How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey


A couple of months ago on Fun at Home with Kids I saw a post about colouring your own wooden blocks. They looked so lovely with all their different shades and hues but my own kids are not big on their block play unless it's part of a world that they are creating (think fences for the animals, towers for the princess) so as much as I loved Asia's idea, making a set for my kids would seem a waste but then I found these small raw wooden unit-sized blocks. Now these I could do something with!


How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

Using some liquid water colours, I coloured 200 raw blocks using Asia's simple technique before laying them out on baking paper to dry.

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

I think they turned out beautifully and as soon as they were dry enough to play with my 5yr old sat down and started counting them. Win! 

She got to 133 before things got a little wobbly so I used the blocks to show her how they could be grouped to make them easier to count.

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

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I wanted us to be able to use them on our metal whiteboards in our kitchen as well as on the floor or table so I cut up some self-adhesive magnet paper into small squares and she helped me stick them on to the blocks. 

This was a great fine motor strengthening activity I hadn't even planned on.

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey



Once they were all done, we could play!

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

We did some more counting and sorting too.


How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey


We did some quick subitizing which they'd been working on at school. 


How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

And we made some pictures.

How to make your own mini magnetic blocks.  A simple DIY guide along with plenty of ideas for play | you clever monkey

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I think they'd be good for lots of different play - building letters, for use with a hundred chart, for graphing or measuring, for outlining shapes.  


How can you see them being used? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your suggestions!

*** Just a note of caution, these blocks are both small and unsealed.  You know your own children though so if you think that either of these things pose a risk to their safety because they still mouth objects, maybe wait until they are older to introduce these mini blocks. 

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25 comments

  1. These are gorgeous! Beautiful! Amazing! I love them!! I want to make some now! :) I looooooove them :)

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    1. lol Kate! They did turn out well but are so easy to make :) Might just need to make some more as 200 is not quite enough!

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    2. Absolutely! They are soooo beautiful. I bought some little cubes this weekend to make some. Wasn't able to find the magnets though. Where did you get them?

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    3. I found some self-adhesive A4 sized magnet sheets at my local Newsagency but somewhere like Officeworks probably has some. I just cut them to suit. Would love to see some photos when you're done Kate :)

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    4. AnonymousJune 17, 2014

      I have looked 3 places and can't find the blocks. Help!

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    5. Have you tried the eBay link in my post anonymous? I believe they still stock these same blocks if you can't find them locally.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Thank you so much! I do love them! Such a fun idea!!!!

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  3. So colourful! I might need to make a few sets as they would make a great gift too :)

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  4. Does the color come off on little sweaty hands?

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    1. Good question BLark. As yet it hasn't but because I haven't sealed them, I'm expecting the colours may wear a little with time. A layer of Modge Podge or varnish would help protect them and then they could be wiped cleaned without fear of losing colour. As I only made this lot for home, I didn't bother this time.

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  5. Wonder if food coloring would be an effective color-izer?

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    1. I think it would be Beth and possibly a better one for younger children. I love using liquid watercolours though so just used Asia's from Fun At Home with Kids how to for that bit.

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  6. Love, love, love this idea! I am think for a grandson a year down the road!!! I pinned this idea for safe keep ing until then! Thanks for the link too!

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    1. Thank you x I'm glad you found the post useful :)

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  7. I work with two year olds and would love to make these for them, but fear they would be to small causing a choking problem. Any ideas on something else that could be used that would not be to heavy to be held by the magnet. I have several children that put everything in their mouth and always worry about choking. Thanks for any help/ideas you can suggest.

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    1. I would also be concerned using these blocks with such young children. I made them for my preschooler who was four at the time. You could try the same with larger blocks but would also need stronger magnets to hold them. I have also seen someone do similar with foam blocks but if you have children in your care who mouth or bite things, without constant supervision, I would hesitate to use them.

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  8. Absolutely beautiful! Can't wait to try making these myself :)

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    1. Thanks Lauren :) I hope you enjoy using them as much as we do!

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  9. I might have to try this, especially since our dollar store has lovely pre-colored blocks already AND magnetic tape! Hazzah!

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    1. So many ways to play SheLaughs :) Definitely worth making some!

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