Friday, April 3, 2009

Playing with Magnets

We have been needing a chore chart at our home for a while now. The kids often got stuck doing the same chores for weeks and that meant bored kids and undone chores. Steve, my husband, got productive the other day and started a chart for me. It was just the kick in the pants I needed to make the chart I had been planning.

Steve took our big magnet board in the kitchen and made a grid with colored electrical tape. Yeah, it's a bit cheesy but I love it because when we decide we're done using the board as a chart, the tape will come off without a mark.

I made magnets for each chore the kids were expected to do every day and a magnet for each of their names. The everyday, non-rotating chores, like clean your room and brush your teeth, are color coded by name. The rotating chores are in black. This helps the rotating chores stand out and it helps the kids quickly see which column is theirs. When they've done a chore they turn the magnet sideways. The kids decided that when they've done part of chore they could turn it 45 degrees.

The labels for the magnets were made in a MS Word table. I kept the lines on the table to be sure I could cut each one exactly the same size. I printed out full sheets of the labels and then cut them down into blocks of three by three so they would fit in my Xyron 510. I bought a laminate/magnet cartridge yesterday to create the magnets. They are easy to cut apart with a heavy duty pair of scissors, but don't use your good ones because the magnet will dull the blade.

And since I had that spendy Xyron cartridge, I had to come up with another good use for it:

Paper dolls! Aren't they cute?

I just printed them out, ran them through the Xyron and then cut them out. Of course, when you cut them out, you also cut the tabs off the clothes. Don't forget to cut the slits in the hats so the girls can wear them.

For our paper dolls we used the ones at this link: Paper Dolls from Kid Fun You might also want to try the paper dolls from The Toymaker. You could, of course, just Google for more fun free paper dolls or even draw your own. The best part about this project is that it works for so many things. You could add clip art of things like watering cans, flowers, beach balls, toys, whatever you want to imagine with. Try making a small magnet board for a little girl with a frame and sheet metal (most hardware stores will cut to size for you. If not, tin snips aren't hard to use.) She could carry the dolls with her where ever, a great travel toy, and it would get the girls off your fridge.

With magnet boards being so popular now, it's a lot of fun to customize them with your own art. The magnet cartridge for a Xyron is a bit on the spendy side, but if you buy it on sale it's a lot easier to justify. Just think of all they fun you can have with one.

Personally, I'm going to make a really cool refrigerator poetry set next.


  1. That's a really neat project. I think I'll end up doing one for my new house. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I love your Chore Chart! Both of my girls have metal dry erase boards on their bedroom doors and I have been writing the chores on there everyday and it is getting (gotten) old, lol. I will definitely be implementing your magnet chores.

    Thanks for the idea!