This course is to help people interested in using magnets to help kids start learning to read in a little different way. My first step was to make the base that the magnetic letters would stick to. As with any wood or steel that you want to look nice, the first step is some sanding and then painting. Once these 2 pieces were finished and looked like I wanted them, it was time to glue them together. I used the simple Gorilla glue to put them together and since the bar was steel I placed a larger magnet under the wooden base so that it pulled the iron flat and held it in place. I also placed one on the other end of the base. It takes a few hours for this to completely cure and be ready for use. On to Step 2.
Step 1: Step 2 - Cutting Out the Letters
There are many materials you can use to make the letters - I just used clear acrylic because it was easy for me to locate and use. Next I had to study the different fonts in my laser cutting software to see which one would give me strong letters that a kid can handle without breaking. I decided on Century Schoolbook which is a very common font. Since acrylic is very expensive I wanted to get maximum use out of the material so I arranged the letters so that I had as little wasted space as possible. Once the pattern was sent to the laser it was easy for the laser to cut the letters out.
Step 2: Step 3 - Attaching the Magnets
After collecting all of the letters I needed to prep them for the magnets. First I had to remove the protective paper from the letters and then sometime I would sand off a spot that I was going to place the magnets to make sure it would give a good surface for the super glue to bond to. Next I selected the magnets and the letters and with about a drop of super glue it was time to position the magnets so that the letters would stand up vertically when the glue dried. This took a little extra effort on letters like "J" or "C" or "O", but once the glue set, everything looked great.
Step 3: Steph 4 - Finishing the Project
My final step for anything with kids is to let kids play with it and see how they use it. Fortunately with a 3.5 year old grandson to help out I was able to watch and see how he used the letters and lined them up. The goal is for kids to look at printed words and then use these letters and make the same words. This project is not very difficult to do and provides a lot of fun for kids. Enjoy!!!