Do It Yourself: Magnetic Farm Animal Play

I have been working on making busy bags for both of my kids. Busy bags are just bags filled with nonelectronic toys that keep their minds active and their hands busy.  Some activities are appropriate for quiet church or doctor’s office play and others are more appropriate for home or car play.  My main goal was to create things that kept them busy while on the road.  We travel a lot and are planning a long airplane trip next year so I wanted things other than a DVD player that kept them busy.

The first thing I created for them is a magnetic farm scene.  All of the pieces will stick to your fridge or a cookie sheet.  A cookie sheet is perfect because it will easily fit in a bag for a car or airplane and then becomes a tray to keep everything in.

For this project, you need the cut out pages from Preschool Printables found here or here, cardstock ($4.50 from Walmart for 100 sheets), laminating paper ($11.99 for 50 sheets from, and magnetic tape ($3.82 from

I first cut out all of the pieces from the cut out pages from Preschool Printables.  These sheets can be used for another activity for older children but I found that they were a bit too detailed for even Gracie to cut.

After cutting them out, I then laminated them.  You can use a laminating machine (which I did) or the self laminating pouches.  I then cut them all out again and put a strip of magnetic tape on each piece.  For the barn, I used 3 strips and also cut the barn doors so that they open.

Then it was off to play…

Immediately you heard Gabriel making the “moo moo” noises with the cow and Gracie began telling stories.

After playing with the farm animals independently, we then played all together.

We sang “Old McDonald” and held up the animal that we sang about…

Then daddy made up a story using our animals.  When we go anywhere, I will add the books “Farms Animals” (this also has a CD that we can put in the CD player of the van), Rooster Can’t Cock-a-Doodle-Doo, and other farm related books.  This will prolong our play and make it even more fun to have stories that we can use these for.

A magnetic play board can cost about $15 for you to buy but if you make it yourself it will cost about $1.25 an entire set.  I made four of these sets for just under $5.  What a great fun activity for my kids and if you added a brand new cookie sheet (found at Dollar Store) you could have a fun gift for an active preschooler.

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4 Responses to “Do It Yourself: Magnetic Farm Animal Play”

  1. 1
    Auriette says:

    I don’t have kids, but this is a really great idea. I love how you use the cutouts and the “Old Macdonald” song to learn what the animals are. You could do that with so many things — nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fruits and veggies. It’s a way cool learning tool and toy.

  2. 2

    [...] Gracie plays “wedding” for weeks.  Knowing this, using the same method from the magnetic farm animals tutorial and these Swedish royal wedding paper dolls download, I created Gracie’s own Bride and Groom [...]

  3. 3
    Vik says:


    The link you posted does not link to the print outs. Do you know the direct link?


  4. 4
    susan says:

    hi can you maybe please send me the pictures for this activity i want to do it with my kids at school.

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