DIY play dough magnets for the magnetic board

I keep my hot glue gun handy all the time so when I come across something I can add a magnet to the back of, I will add it and set it out by the magnetic board….

Magnetic Play Dough Lids

I saved a ton of lids from store bought play dough containers though out our school year and finally sat down one afternoon to add magnets to the back of them….

The children used the magnetic lids on our Guidecraft Floor Easel as well as on our metal “grease pan” magnetic board….

The magnets will pop off on occasion so I have taught my students to bring me a lid when the magnet pops off and together, we glue it back on.  Some of my students don’t even wait for me anymore. They just get out the glue and put the magnet back on and leave the lid in the “drying area” until the glue dries.

Kids are so capable and when you teach them how to make their own repairs, they also learn to take better care of the things we make for play…

The magnetic play dough lids were out all throughout the week and the children would just stop by on occasion and change them around.  Sometimes, a child would stay for quite awhile and other times, they would reach out, do a quick rearrange, and move on…

Eventually, I added numbers to some of the lids just to add a new dimension of play to the magnetic play dough lids but I never took photos of them with the numbers – but you get the idea…

And now that summer is over, even my grandson loves to explore the magnetic play dough lids when we stop by the classroom…

But he prefers to take them all off the board (and because the magnets can pop off he doesn’t get to run around with the lids)

And he loves to stack the magnetic lids up on the shelf…

A super simple way to reuse all those lids and a great way to add something more to your classroom for keeping small hands busy and young minds thinking…

Available on Amazon


Links to Grow On

Bendable DIY Magnets from Play Counts

Mangnetic Marble Tubes from Teach Preschool

Alphabet Magnets from Everyday Art

DIY Glass Magnets from Inner Child Fun

Hungry Caterpillar Magnets from Craft to Art

By |2012-06-26T11:22:52+00:00June 26th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. renee June 26, 2012 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Wow! What a great idea! I’ve never thought of repurposing playdough lids. Cant wait to try this one out.

  2. Jackie Higgins June 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    I have so many playdough lids because I knew eventually I was going to come across a use for them. I never had… until now! Thank you.

  3. Scott June 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    I love this, Deborah. I’m always on the lookout for more magnet ideas. Thanks.

  4. jaime June 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    very cute:-)

  5. Mrs. Brenda Lee Cosse' June 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Hi5! These are educational and fun tools. Will recommend ‘Teach Preschool’ and this DIY playdough magnets for the magnetic board as a resource to help ‘Identify and Prevent the Summer Slide-Summer Learning Loss’.
    EnjoyHi5Autism networks hope kids will enjoy learning in the summertime, too.

  6. Jennifer June 27, 2012 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I love this idea! You always amaze me that you can come up with such educational ideas for simple things. I do have one question – did you paint your “grease pan” or did you keep it the silver color? Our budget is so low right now that it’s practically nonexistent, and I want to incorporate this as a magnetic board in my room. The pics from this blog make the pan appear white, and it fit in so nicely on the back of your shelve, so I just wondered if it had been painted, and if so, what you used! Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 28, 2012 at 9:03 am - Reply

      Hi Jennifer,
      Yes, the magnetic board has been painted. I used a metal spray paint and painted one side of the board red and the other side of the board white.

      • Jennifer June 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        Thanks so much for the information! Can’t wait to get started on it! I voted for your small business and had others do so as well…good luck! With all of the hard work you put into this blog and your website, hopefully you are justly rewarded!

  7. crystal@growingajeweledrose June 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    What a clever idea! I have been saving our old play dough lids just waiting for a use. I will be adding some of these to our magnet collection 🙂

  8. Kimberly Thornton September 9, 2012 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Our teachers are searching for ideas to do with toddlers. Magnets play dough lids offer a variety of colors for sorting, creating letters and numbers. I will suggest this one to the teachers.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2012 at 8:22 am - Reply

      Make sure to keep an eye on toddlers when playing with anything that you have added magnets too – the magnets will pop off of plastic items if they are attached using hot glue:)

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