Back to the Drawing Board for More Fun
- What: Magna Doodle Drawing Board
- When: 18 months and up
- Why: Practice writing skills, no mess, better for the environment
- Where: Amazon
If your kid doesn’t have a magnetic drawing board of some sort, consider grabbing one of these Magna Doodle varieties. Each board comes with a magnetic pen that can’t get lost (until your kids learn to wield scissors that is) because a string connects it to the writing surface.
For older kids, you can play games like tic tac toe and never run of out writing real estate. The bigger pads measure about the size of a legal paper pad, only wider, and include some extra tiny shaped pieces to stamp the board. Smaller versions work better for traveling, and can keep kids busy in the car or on the plane for quite some time.
My kids have had three magnetic drawing boards, and though we’ve passed two along to make room for other toys, the remaining one has survived some serious mishandling. My kids have stood on it and whacked it with various items and dropped food on it and it still works great. I’ve seen some in waiting rooms that have cracked, and the magnets no longer work over the cracks, but after six years we’ve escaped that fate. And even if it happens, kids can still use the toy, though they have to get more creative about including the cracked white space in their drawings.
We’ve only ever had the black (well, really more of a gray shade) and white versions, but I can see the appeal in the colors. Each color appears in a certain zone, so kids can’t control what color shows up where, but the different tones make creations feel brighter.
Once you or your child finish drawing, wipe the entire board clean by sliding the plastic piece at the bottom. You can draw and erase until someone gets tired of the activity, and it will still be ready to go for next time, with no need for markers, crayons, pens, pencils, or paper, and nothing leftover to recycle afterwards. I also highly recommend these boards for kids who like to chew on their art materials.
These boards work great for younger kids just starting to hold writing utensils who still need practice. I also used them to keep my kids quietly entertained by drawing on their demand during the toddler years. I got pretty good at airplanes and trains with my firstborn, and cats with my second. My horses could still use some work, so perhaps I should get back to the drawing board.