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