• DIY Family Car Games: Magnetic Patterns Book

    magnetcargame11 This week’s family car game activity (see the first two here and here) is Henry’s favorite so far. It’s also been the most time consuming to make, honestly, probably about 2-3 hours start to finish but it’s one we’ll keep for a while I think. The idea is that the child uses the patterns on the paper as guides and tries to copy the pattern onto their magnetic board with the colorful tiles.magnetgame

    The chips and board are magnetic so they don’t fall off during the car or plane ride’s bumps and jolts. Although, they aren’t super magnets so there’s a plastic bag to store them in as well when you’re done playing the game. This is a fun busy activity for little hands at home too, and great for pattern, shape, and color recognition.


    I made 9 different designs you can download after the jump (a few images of them above). I got excited and kind of carried away making the designs, it was fun! But feel free to draw or design your own too. Or have your older kids draw some as well.

    Learn how to make your own magnetic pattern book after the jump!



    Small spiral notebook (mine is from Muji) with paper
    1 sheet of magnetic peel and stick paper6 pieces of colorful cardstock paper
    1 roll of magnetic tapeExacto knife
    Plastic sandwich bag
    Printed designs onto card stock. Download them here: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine

    magnetcargame3Step 1: Cut the magnetic tape into strips about 4 inches long

    Step 2: Peel off the backing and stick onto the colorful cardboard so you have 6 colorful magnetic strips


    Step 3: Cut each strip into four even 1 x 1 squares (which was easy since the magnetic tape is 1” wide). And then cut each color set as shown above: one square leave as is, one cut in half so you have to rectangles, one cut in half so you have two triangles, and one cut in fourths so you have four mini squares. Your set should look like my set above.


    Step 4: Cut the magnetic paper about the size of one inside cover of your notebook and stick onto the inside as shown above. Do the same to the other side so you have room for put the extra pieces as you’re working on a design.


    Step 5: Download and print out the designs onto white card stock paper. My notebook paper was about 8 x 6 so I made the downloadable designs to fit onto that size of paper. Download them here: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine


    Step 6: Cut and then glue them onto the notebook sheet magnetcargame13

    Step 7: Place them in the notebook. Your child can move the one they’re working on to the front of the notebook when they’re using it. magnetcargame9

    Note 1: Extra magnetic pieces can be placed on the other inside cover where you placed the other magnetic sheet.


    Note 2: Staple a plastic bag onto a notebook sheet to store them in the back of the notebook behind the design sheets when not using them (so they don’t fall out. They’re magnetic but the magnetic isn’t too strong- if you turn the notebook upside down some will fall off)

    PS And in case you missed the first two tutorials for DIY family car games: Chalkboard Tic Tac Toe and Printable Car Travel Bingoroadtriptictactoe82


    1. heidiandluke said… June 21, 2013 6:45 pm

      Wow, this is great- and so creative. My kids would love it too! This series has been fantastic!

    2. mary said… June 21, 2013 11:12 am

      I can see why Henry loves it, what a great activity!

    3. Lisette Wolter-McKinley said… June 21, 2013 11:04 am

      Fun idea!

      Some great family road trip ideas on the blog:


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