busy book: connect-the-dots (v. 2–magnets!)

i got the concept for this page from this post on “creating sarah.”  i paired it with my big dipper page and they both have the same sparkly black background.  both this page and the big dipper page are based on similar concepts (“drawing” an image with a piece of string through pre-defined points), but i wanted to try both and compare the construction and the play factor.  here’s what it looks like without the dots “connected:”

the first image i attempted was a rocket.

unfortunately, it turned out looking like a demented clown.  or something.

i tilted it to a 45 degree angle and added some flames and i think it’s slightly more rocket-y now, but still not quite right (it’s hard to get curved lines!).  so for my second image, i tried a more simple star shape.

i also sewed the string to the magnets at an angle (instead of straight in one side and out the opposite side).  this made the lines of the star much cleaner and neater!

this is what it looked like the first time the happy toddler tried the page.

this was definitely more “fiddly” sewing than the “big dipper.”  each spot of the image needed three small felt circles cut and i hand-sewed one circle (on top of a magnet) to the page, then sandwiched a second magnet and the string between the other two felt circles and hand-sewed them together.  why hand-sew?  because when you machine-sew near magnets, they tend to be attracted to the needle and then the needle smashes down right on top of the magnet, breaking the needle.  was it worth it?  well, i think it’s entertaining to play with!  the magnets are strong and when they “zip!” onto one of the dots on the page, it’s kind of fun!  and i think after he’s figured out the whole tangly mess, the happy toddler will enjoy it too.


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4 Responses to busy book: connect-the-dots (v. 2–magnets!)

  1. Beth says:

    Where did you get the magnets?

  2. Carissa says:

    Excellent question! Unfortunately, I got them from a very weird source. There’s an organization in town that rescues bats and they go around to libraries and schools and give bat lectures and bring their bats along. They also sell bat paraphernalia to raise funds for the rescue efforts and one of the items includes optional magnets. These magnets are very small, flat and strong, so they don’t like to include them in the sale because they’re really not safe for kids that might try to put them in their mouths (although I think that encased in felt as in this post makes them much safer!), but I know that they don’t throw them away (because that’s wasteful) so I contacted them and asked if I could buy some magnets from them. They agreed to give them to me and I made a donation to their organization. I think that most “rare-earth magnets” would work just as well, just make sure kids can’t access them until they’re all sewn up securely.

  3. Hi! I was just browsing through all of your wonderful quiet book pages gaining so much inspiration and so many fun ideas when I stumbled across this one! I’m so excited you were inspired by my dot to dot page! I love that you sewed the string at an angle. That’s a great idea. I’m getting ready to try another dot to dot page because my kids loved the life out of the last one. I might try doing it like you did your Big Dipper page with buttons; it’s very clever.

    Anyway, I wanted to say hi and thank you and have a wonderful day! Sarah

  4. melissa says:

    You can also buy magnets for pretty cheap at Home Depot or any other home improvement store. I’m working on making 3 quiet books at once so hop over to my blog when you have some time.

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