Introduction: Caterpillar Magnet Children Toy

Hello
I'm going to show you how to build a very simple toy for children which can be played on any magnetic surface (fridge, magnteic whiteboard...)

The idea came after I recieved a few cardboard packages from an internet deal.
After getting my stuff, I had all this big cardboards lying around and decided to cut a star for my daughter. She was very happy with it so I made another and she asked me for a moon.
I put all these together and suspended it in her room before night (a good way to explain her that the moon will catch her nightmares and it works !!)
As she loves my simple stars and moon, I made her a simple butterfly and once again she loves it. But this time she asked me :
"Where is it's house daddy ?"
"... and where is the caterpillar ?"

So I thinked about the caterpillar...

Here is how I made it

Step 1: Preparing

You need :
  • Cardboard
  • Magnetic sheets (I used a list of phone number, the kind you've got in your mailbox sometimes)
Tools :
  • Pen
  • Sharp knife
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • glass or something circular, why not a compass... what ? This is made for this purpose ? drawing circles ??

Your child(ren) may be usefull too, as he/she(they) should be very happy to do it with you.

Cost :
Nearly nothing as many of the items can be found in the house.

Step 2: Drawing

Use the glass and draw the first circle on your cardboard.
Then move the glass and draw a new circle over the previous one. Do not overlap too much. Keep under the half diameter is - I think - a good choice. 
Repeat this as many time as you want. Each circle will become a part of the caterpillar body.
The last circle you'll do will be the head of the caterpillar. I made 2 bumps to draw the eyes. Use a smaller glass to make a small piece for the tail.

Step 3: Cutting

Be carefull ! Your child, happy with what you do for him/her, will be very surprised to see blood coming from this "not yet borned" caterpillar...

So you have to follow lines. Watch out ! Don't cut the full circle you drawn !! You have to cut up to the intersection with the next circle. Then follow the border of the 2nd circle which is inside the first one. It should give you a 'crescent moon' not sure of this translation

Go on with all parts ...

Step 4: Painting (#1)

As I planned to use my children's paint, I thought it will not cover correctly the cardboard. Furthermore I had to test how well the paint 'stick' on the cardboard and how well the cardboard resists to moisturising.
So I paint it white.

Later I will ask my daughter how she wants the caterpillar to be colorized.

Step 5: Magnetizing

I cuts my magnetic useful phone reminder card into pieces, big enough to give a good surface of contact to stick correctly on the fridge, not too big to not be larger than the cardboard piece of body.

Glue these piece of magnets on the back of the cardboard pieces.

Step 6: Painting (#2)

Here is the step for my daughter. 
I asked here how we should paint the parts. She decided to paint all parts with different colors, one color for one piece.

So we painted it... Sorry no pictures for this. Only the final result on the fridge

Step 7: Finished !

Et voilà !
After everything dried, here is the final result !

Final thought
  • If I had a place to work with wood I think I would have made it with plywood, sanding and painting it glossy.
  • You may had some letters on each parts, or create a lot of pieces to learn the easy way your children to use letters. Numbers can be funny too
  • It is amazing how children are happy with just a simple thing you make with them. My daughter spoke about the caterpillar as soon as she get up. If you want to have a goooood loooong morning in your bed, I advice you don't speak about it the evening before, or better you start it and finish it the same day !
  • If I had some, I would have varnish it to make it last longer and be more beatifull. If you have some, you can use wood white glue as varnish, as it  should become transparent when drying and protect the paint on cardboard.
  • Be carefull to not use too much watter in your paint or the cardboard will bend too much making it impossible to stick on your fridge.

Comments

author
evacooper (author)2012-12-09

that is so cute!

author
alexsolex (author)evacooper2012-12-09

thanks

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