Household Items as Toys Series: Refrigerator Magnet for Toddlers’ Fine Motor Development

Household Items as Toys Series: Ref Magnet For Toddlers Fine Motor Development

I like things simple and easy. And if I can use something for another purpose, then I’m all for it.

That is why I want to rave about REFRIGERATOR MAGNETS!

Ref Magnets for Toddler: Household Items as Toys Series

Who would have thought that these cute decors could double as fine motor skills toy?!

Usually , we have fridge magnets as decors. For some, these are reminders of places we’ve been to (travel souvenirs, anyone?)

Aside from being decorative, we also use it for practical purposes such as a place to keep our restaurant flyers and reminders. PAY BILLS TOMORROW- I’m sure you can relate. 😀

But months ago, my sister found another purpose for fridge magnets.

She used it as an activity to keep my nephew busy. And it worked!

When Seb was only 10 months old, he would often sit in front of the fridge and play with the magnets.

Magnet Manipulation
Seb at 10 months old… He’s very busy playing with the magnets. 😀

He found joy in moving the magnets around and sticking them together. He found it so enjoyable that he got motivated to stand to reach for the other magnets.

And before we knew it, Seb can already stand- with his hands on the fridge door, of course.

Up until this day, Seb still likes to play with the fridge magnets. From time to time, he would still stop by in front of the fridge and move around the magnets there.

I think, whoever thought of fridge magnet as a toy for toddlers is a genius! It is such a simple decor and yet it offers a lot of benefits to children.

Magnet play stimulates active curiosity. The way it relentlessly sticks on the metal surface is surely fascinating for children. It’s definitely a great introduction to science. Although at this point, I am not in a hurry to discuss with my little nephew about how magnets work. :/

Fridge Magnets for Toddlers' Fine Motor Development

Plus, magnets build fine motor skills as toddlers grasp and move the magnet around. And if you have read my earlier posts, you’d know by now that I believe in introducing fine motor activities early to children.

Read here for other simple fine motor skills activities for toddlers. 

Or you may be interested in reading this article about activities that promote fine motor skills using usual household items. 

Warning though, having your child play with magnets could potentially scratch your fridge door.

There is a high probability that the magnet could damage the fridge door as it gets dragged around by your toddler’s hands.

You can just imagine what our fridge door looks like now!

If you are not keen on having scratches all over your refrigerator, I suggest that you find other surfaces that the magnets could stick to.

Fridge Magnets for Toddlers' Fine Motor Development

Sometimes we let Seb play with the magnet on our gate. So he can play with them outdoors.

But honestly, the scratches are nothing compared to the memories and skills that your child will acquire along the way. And for this reason, we just let Seb enjoy the magnets on the fridge door. We can always replace the fridge anyway, but we can never turn back time. He’ll never be a pudgy toddler again. <3

So there you go, do try this activity yourself and let me know how it goes. 🙂

Teacher’s Advice:

Keep an eye on your toddler as he/she plays with the fridge magnets to prevent swallowing.

And make sure you remain within reach while your child is attempting to stand (especially if it’s his/her first time.)

Ref Magnets for Toddler: Household Items as Toys Series

Ref Magnet for Toddlers: Household Items as Toys Series

P.S.

Before I posted this, I came across this news article from the New York Times about a boy who swallowed TWO magnets. YIKES!

Personally, I still think that fridge magnets are relatively safe for toddlers as long as there is proper guidance.

Common sense dictates that you don’t leave your child unattended while playing with something that could easily fit his/her mouth, right?

Oh, and please visit my Free Printable Page for more!

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The Teaching Aunt Signature: Teacher Nessy

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30 Responses

  1. I like how you can use funny-looking fridge magnets as educational toys since toddlers and young children are motivated by the sight of colorful toys–even more so if they’re movable and magnetic, which means they can stick it all over the lower half of the fridge when they want to play around. fine play like this actually encourages a child’s motor skills to develop especially when it comes to looking at how things work and how it can stick to another surface without so much effort. If I were to use more magnets on the fridge, I would make sure that they are the kind that my children would potentially learn from so that they can also learn more things in the near future.

  2. My refrigerator is not magnetic so I purchased a large metal baking sheet and hung it on the wall with Commando hooks. Works like a fridge but keeps the kids out of the walkway when I’m cooking. I actually have enough wall space under my kitchen to expand for more children to play together if I need to do so.

    1. That’s another way doing it. 😁 We also use our fridge magnets on our gate and bed post. I say, whatever works! 🤣 The important thing is they are productive and happy.

  3. both my children used to play HOURS with the refrigerator magnets at my mother’s house! They seemed to love that a lot. Our own fridge is built in the kitchen’s furniture, so there is no place for magnets.

  4. OMG we used to have these fruit fridge magnets at home which my Mom used to clipped her receipts! It was fun to play them as well.

  5. It’s so cute when they start to stand. I love magnets on the refrigerator. I’ve never met a little who didn’t like them too. 🙂

  6. Oh this is definitely a great educational activity to keep their minds engaged. I have a friend who loves to work with magnets with her young kids and they all love how useful they are.

  7. I still remember the days when I used to do the same with my kids. They found it so fascinating when it magnetically stuck to the fridge which made them asked a lot of questions. It was def. a fun way for kids to learn. Nice one!

  8. I loved, loved, loved playing with magnets as a kid. And I agree, that with proper guidance a child could work on their fine motor skills with magnets. I would absolutely aunt-a-copter if my nephews were young enough to play with magnets (they are of the age where it’s time to keep them away from Tide pods versus magnets).

  9. Its really cute! My aunties kids loves playing with refrigerator magnets. It is such a great way for them to build their motor development skills.

  10. I cant tell you how much I have toyed with them as a kid and broken and used them even afterwards to play lolbrings back a lot of fond memories. I now collect travel magnets

  11. We always had so many refrigerator magnets when I was growing up. When my girls were smaller, we would get them as souvenirs but little by little they disappeared.

  12. Fridge magnets kept my kids entertained for hours when they were little. I did worry about scratches and swallowing the magnets, so I tried to make sure that the magnets were kids safe. As for the scratches, you have to weigh which is more important — easy entertainment or scratches.

  13. I actually have a very big collection of fridge magnets – so many that I don’t have space on my fridge anymore. I don’t have children though so I didn’t think that they could act as toys.

  14. My son loves playing with refrigerator magnets. It really is such a great way for them to work on their fine motor development skills.

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The Teaching Aunt- Teacher Nessy

Hi! My name is Nessy. I’m a preschool teacher and I’ve just recently added “doting aunt” to my title. I have tons of teacher-approved and child-friendly activities (as young as toddler years!) that I would like to share with you. Happy reading!

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