In the coming weeks I’ll be travelling with my nephews and parents around Texas, up through New Mexico and back home to Oklahoma. And since I absolutely cannot stand the sound of the little handheld video games the boys will surely bring with them, I’m finding alternative, quiet play options for them!
So I bought each kid a little 97 cent cookie sheet from Wal-Mart and now I’m making some magnetic games to stick to their sheets and hopefully keep them busy and myself sane.
Now tanagrams are an amazing little game even though when I’ve tried to explain them to numerous people lately I get a blan stare. What? A tin uh grim? What’s that?
If you’ve not seen these guys before they’re little shapes that come together to make a square. You can also make all sorts of things and shapes with them, like a puzzle. You can always freestyle it, too. And just in case freestyling it isn’t on the agenda for the boys, I made a printable with just over a dozen shapes for them to recreate including a man on a horse, a bunny rabbit, boat, swan, lots of fun stuff. You can download the PDF to print here.
For this project you will need:
- Adhesive magnetic roll
- Paper trimmer & scissors
- Cute scrapbooking paper or solid construction paper
- Mod Podge Hardcoat
- Free printable tanagram PDF
Take your paper and trim to 8.5 x 11 inches so that it will run through your printer. Print the PDF onto your paper.
Here I printed on both the back and the front, but you’ll want to print only on the back side, leaving the pretty front side unmarked. If you don’t have a lot of your paper you’re using, you might want to run a blank piece of printer paper to make sure you’re feeding your paper correctly (oops!)
Use your paper trimmer to cut along the lines as best you can.
Peel the protective piece of paper away from your magnetic sheet and stick your cut out shapes pretty side up onto the adhesive of the magnet.
Using scissors trim as best as you can.
I am predicting that these suckers are going to get pretty jacked up and I forsee little sharp as all get out fingernails scraping away the paper on the edges. To help prolong the life of these little tanagram bits I went over the front and edges of each piece with Mod Podge hardcoat 3 times.
I used my handy dandy drying rack (which you can make with this DIY!) to keep the pieces from getting cat fur or something equally unpleasant stuck to them.
After the last coat was good and dry, I put all of my pieces into a book and then put a box of pennies on top to get them nice and flat.
And don’t forget to print your handy little guide. Just trim the sheets in half down the middle and staple in the corner and you’re all set!
**Update: The tanagrams are a HUGE hit. So much so that we now have three sets to play with :)