Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dollar Store {Magnetic} Car Activities

Well the first challenge of SYTYC has came and gone, and I made it!  The theme was dollar store, and I was a little nervous because I don't have a lot of experience with dollar stores, I don't live too close to any, but I found out they are a lot of fun!  For this challenge I decided to make a craft to keep my kids busy in the car! I created interchangeable magnet car games using mainly dollar store items.

Items Needed:
(Dollar Store)
  • 12 inch metal platter (it has about a 1" lip around the edge)
  • ABC magnets (SCORE!)
  • Dinosaur figures
  • Decorative towels
Non dollar store items include
  • craft magnets
  • magnet paper
  • Printables (Free from me!)
Step 1: Making the Bag!

Hopefully at the dollar store, or maybe in your stash, you find some material or towel material to make a bag to store your magnetic games and pieces in.
Measure your magnetic tray, to figure out how big you need your bag.  I just doubled the width of my tray and added a couple inches for the width.  For the height measurement I measured the height of my tray and added about 4 inches because you are making a casing.
 Width wise, fold the material right sides together and sew or serge the bottom and side of your bag.  If you sew this step, go back and do a zig zag stitch to reduce fraying.
Make two button holes at the top front of your bag.  This is where the draw string will enter/exit, after you make the casing.
Make a casing by turning the top raw edge of your bag in, about an inch, and sew a strait seam about 1/2-3/4 inches away from folded edge.  Insert drawstring through button hole, and pull around the bag and exit through the other button hole.  (I used an extra shoelace for my drawstrings).
STEP 2: Games

TIPS: You can do this step anyway that you want to fit the tray you purchased.  I modge podged a main game into each tray, and you can put additional games on top.  If I were to do this over again. I WOULD NOT DECOUPAGE paper to the tray.  I love Modge Podge, but the extra thickness of the paper makes it so it is not as magnetic.  I might paint it.  Then you can place each game on top of the tray, and it will make it more magnetic.

Also when you print out the base of each of your game, print it out on light copy paper.  The thinner it is, the more magnetic it will be.  I covered each game with clear contact paper, but you could laminate it.

I made game pieces by painting craft magnets and adding stickers.  Each kid has their own color so I know who to yell at know who it belongs to if I find it in the car.

I also used magnetic printer paper a lot.  It is a little pricey but you can buy it at walmart.  If I was not worried about price I might even make the base of the game out of magnet paper as well.

CAR GAMES: What I love most about this project is how flexible it is.  I made six games to fit in the trays I purchased at the dollar store, but can keep adding. I have plans to add tic tac toe, and a car track.  I will provide links and brief summary of how I put together each game. The games I made include:
What's Cookin:  Kids can use their imagination to create yummy food! For the base of a game, I took a picture of one of our plates.  Then using mainly pictures from this blog, I made food, and printed it out on magnet paper.  You can find magnet paper at Walmart.  This is really fun because you can use food that you have taken pictures of, or you can use mine.
Printables: Please not these are not perfect, this was good time experimenting getting the background away from objects! Click on the image to print or go to the photo album HERE.

Road Trip Bingo:  I have the Homemaking Expert to thank for this bingo game.  I adapted her bingo game, to fit my circular trays.  You can find her free bingo printables HERE.

Find That Car Color:
  Kids will have fun spinning the spinner to find out which color of car they have.  For this game simply attach the spinner with a brad, and let the kids go at it.  I put contact paper over the brad to make it more durable.  Click on the image to print or go to the photo album HERE.

Funny Face:  My kids have a great time mixing and matching face shapes!  Simply print out the base, laminate it, and print out the face shapes on magnetic printer paper.  Sorry some of the quality of images (mainly noses and eyes) are not very good.  I went over the top of some of the pixilated images with a sharpie. Click on the image to print or go to the photo album HERE.
Dino World:  I made this one completely by scratch I used scrapbook paper and the graphic from the dinosaurs we bought at the dollar store.  I modge podged this to the tray.  But you could use contact paper to keep it all together.

ABC Match:  I was thrilled when I found ABC magnets at the dollar store (Dollar General I think).  These printables have lowercase letters which they can match to the uppercase magnets.  I mounted the sheets on thin scrapbook paper. Click on the image to print or go to the photo album HERE.

My kids love these games!  I love the fact that everything is contained in a bag.  The rule in my car is you can't go out until everything is in the bag!
Homemade magnet car game console..............................$6.75 each
A happy car ride...............................................................priceless!

Enjoy, Carlee
I like to LINK at these fabulous parties!


  1. What a neat idea!!! These would be so great for a long car ride. There are so many possibilities with this! What a fun challenge.

  2. Tooooo cute, I don't have young kids anymore, but this is one of the best ideas I have ever seen:)

  3. WOW! That is awesome :) Definitely book marking this :)

  4. AWESOME! I am sharing on my Fb & Twitter and would love to invite you over to share on my child centered linky party - The Sunday Showcase. It's up now! :)


  5. wow that is a really creative idea! Long car rides can be unbearable....I will try this! I hope you will link up with me here:

  6. These are so cute and would be PERFECT for a car ride!!

    Please feel free to link your games up to my Make Yourself Monday blog hop! :o)

    For Love of Cupcakes

  7. You are SO SO creative Carlee!!! These would entertain some kiddos I know for hours! Thanks for linking up to Fancy This Fridays!!!

  8. You are a brilliant, brilliant woman!

  9. Just a great idea. Thank you for sharing your genius with us. I featured this today!!

  10. Brilliant ideas there! I would love to give some of these a try for our next car trip! Thanks.

  11. This is such a great idea! We are taking a road trip for Thanksgiving and this will come in handy! Thanks! Stopping by from Someday Crafts

  12. What an awesome idea! You know what game my kids play in the car? It's called FIGHT! I think I'll have to make a trip to the dollar store and make one of these kits for them. Thank you for sharing! :)

  13. This FAB idea has been featured on this weeks Sunday Showcase! :)

    Stop by & grab your button if you'd like & I certainly hope to see more ideas from you on this week's linky!


  14. So creative, fun and ingenious! I especially love the funny face and car bingo games!

  15. Brilliant! We go on long trips regularly- this is a must!

  16. Fantastic ideas!
    Instead of buying towels, you can recycle T-shirts to make bags of varying sizes. The size of the T-shirt affects the size of the bag. Small bags can be made from short sleeves, and larger ones from the body of the T-shirt.
    Measure 1" below the bottom of the armhole, and cut straight across. Turn inside out and sew closed. The hem of the T-shirt becomes the top opening. Cut 2 small slits - 1 on either side of the side (vertical) seam in the hem (now a casing). Use a shoestring or a strip of T-shirt material (pulled taut to make a string) and a safety pin (pinned to 1 end) to thread the string through the casing formed by the hem. Knot the ends together, and you have a drawstring closure on the bag. For the sleeve bags, cut the sleeve off the shirt just inside the seam. Turn the sleeve inside out and fold so the remaining seam is not a side seam for the bag, but will be in the center of the front or back. Sew the opening closed. The hem of the sleeve becomes the casing for the drawstring (just like in the bag made from the body piece). Long sleeves make great shoe bags for storing shoes or keeping them from messing up your clothes while traveling.

  17. Hi! I'm just about to get started on this project, and I was wondering--are the game boards stuck to the base in any way, or do they just get held on with the magnetic game pieces? If not, did you have any trouble with the game boards falling out of the base?

  18. Thank you for sharing this project! I'm in the process of making some for our upcoming road trip!!! I'm sure my kids will love it.

  19. FUN! I love the silly faces match-up - I will definitely print these for our 4 year old on our road trip next week! Thanks!


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