So, we have these plastic alphabet magnets for the fridge…correction…had. Almost all of them have fallen off, broken, or hid under the refrigerator in fear of my kids. You see, my youngest loved to put them in his mouth, throw them, or simply couldn’t grasp them so they’d fall and disappear. My kids love them, so I made them some chunky wooden alphabet magnets.
These magnets are great for a few reasons. First of all, they are chunky. This means the are easier for my toddler to grasp in his hands and it is more difficult for them to sneak into the opening under the fridge. Secondly, they look great with my decor! The wood looks modern and stylish and I can match my own color scheme, unlike the multi-color plastic ones. Thirdly, I designed in a way that promotes optimal learning for the kids.
That’s right, these are designed with education in mind. Do you see the stripes on the bottom of each letter? This is not just to make them look super cool as they chill on the refrigerator door; no, it also serves a greater purpose. The stripe on the bottom will tell your kids which direction each letter should go so they do not learn their letters backwards and upside down. I used two colors to identify consonants and vowels for advanced learning. The consonants have white and the vowels have teal. Notice that the letter “Y” has both white and teal. This is because sometimes the “Y” acts as a vowel where it is usually a consonant.
Oh, and don’t forget the fact that these are LETTERS used to make WORDS! That’s educational in and of itself. Start with teaching your children 3-letter words and their names. If one set of letters does not have everything you need for your child’s name, I recommend buying multiple sets. Kids really love learning their names, especially when they can see it displayed on the refrigerator.
What You Need
- Small, chunky wooden letters (we bought an inexpensive bamboo letter set at Michael’s; it was lightweight so it worked great. If you can’t find this, you can purchase these wooden letters that are a little thicker or a few thinner wooden letters or fancy letters and wood-glue a few in stacks to make them chunky)
- C clamps (only needed if you choose to glue letters together to make them thicker)
- Magnetic strip (I used an adhesive roll, but I ended up needing to use glue to keep the bits in place)
- Hot glue gun with glue
- Wood stain (optional, you may want to use this if you purchase plain wood letters)
- Nail polish (two coordinating colors, plus top coat if needed to seal the edges. I used Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish so it went on thick and dried quickly)
1. If you need to glue letters together to make them chunkier, glue together stacks of two or three thinner letters with wood glue and clamp them together until the glue is dried.
2. If you plan to stain the wood, do that now. Follow package instructions (I did not stain mine or I’d share a tutorial for you.) Let dry.
3. Cut small pieces from the magnets and hot glue them onto the backs of the letters. Most I only needed one piece of magnet, but some you may need more.
4. Flip the letters back over and paint one color strip along the bottom of consonants, another along the bottom of vowels, and one strip of each on the bottom of the “Y.” If needed, seal the letters with clear nail polish. Let dry.
(Why yes, that is a Target clearance sticker–making these even more affordable!)
There you have it! Adorable wooden letters. These are so much fun on the refrigerator or even try screwing a metal board to the wall just for magnetic play activities.
These would make such a fun handmade Christmas gift for kids!
What colors will you use for your magnets? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!Know someone who could use this? Hit the “share” buttons below! Be sure to follow Arts & Crackers on social media (buttons at the top right of the page.)
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