Saturday, September 12, 2015

Magical Magnet Stories: "Behind the Scenes"

          A little over 3 years ago I came up with the idea for "Magical Magnet Stories". As technology has changed over the years, I saw that there was a move from flannel board stories to magnet stories. Basically, it was laminated clip art with a magnet on the back, and it was easy to make. As I created more of them, I realized it was still kind of boring and wondered how I could make it more exciting. That's when I began experimenting with paint. I've always loved painting, and I decided to try to paint on a cookie tray. The result was "Magical"!
         As the years have gone by, I have added so many boards to my collection. My students enjoy seeing and using the boards in the classroom. What encouraged me even more to create them was the fact that the students who usually did not use puppets or tell stories were now asking for a new board to play with next. They now spend a lot of center time retelling familiar stories or poems with the boards, and are so excited about it!
         When I make my magnet stories, I start with a poem, song, or book. I like using songs because it makes it easy for the students to act it out. They either sing it themselves or we play a CD to show the story. I also like to use the $1 books from Scholastic. I especially use those around the holidays and the end of the year because I give a board and book as a gift to all my students.
          So far, I have created over 25 "Magical Magnet Stories". You can see them all by following my link on the right. Below you will see just how I go from cookie tray to magic! Each one is hand painted and takes about 2-3 hours to make, including drying times in between.

                     1.  Pick a book, song, or poem. It can be a book or song you have, or you can do a search for poems and YouTube songs for whatever topic you want. I have picked "Chicka   Boom Boom" to show you. Scholastic Reading Clubs have them on sale for $1, and I have already bought them for my end of the year gift.

                    2. I begin by painting the background of my board. For "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", I painted the sky and the sand first. (It's all about layering the paint to achieve the look you want.)

                    3. I then paint the tree trunk and the leaves.

                    4. Next I add the coconuts, as well as glitter fabric paint on the sand.

                    5. Finally I seal the board with ModPodge mixed with a little water. You have to get the consistency just right so that the board is sealed, but it it will not be tacky when it dries. (***For boards with clip art images on them, this is the time that I add those on with ModPodge.)



         Add the magnet pieces (you can add laminated clip art with magnets) and you have an awesome prop to engage and encourage students to build their literacy skills! Depending on the board, you can reinforce skills such as:


                               * Retelling stories
                               * Letter recognition
                               * Rhyming
                               * Sequencing  
                               * Comprehension skills
                               * Building vocabulary/language                                     
                                * Number recognition
                                * Counting
                                * Addition
                                * Subtraction
                                * Shape recognition
                                * Ordinal numbers/sequencing      
          These are just a few of the skills! The magnet stories also help build social skills and address science and social studies concepts. Experience the Magic yourself by visiting my page, Magical Magnet Stories. Create your own board or contact me to purchase one so you can see your child or students light up with excitement and a love for learning!


  1. Hi
    I love your ideas. I teach 2-5 deaf and hard of hearing kids, so using visuals is really important. What paint do you use on your boards?

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I use acrylic paints on the boards but I use a special home made blend to seal it in. If you go to my FB page, you can see all the ones I make. I do sell them, so feel free to get in touch through the FB page if you are interested!