Sunday, May 19, 2013

Magnetic Words For Your Magnetic Personality

Original Magnetic Poetry Kit
Image via Magnetic Poetry

I'm sure you've seen these great little Magnetic Poetry kits. Click here for their website- they have so many fun looking kits. Magnetic Poetry for every mood or interest and it is a fun, low stress way to express ourselves and share our thoughts. Maybe you also noticed that with the exception of the Really Big Words kit for kids, the magnetic word strips in the kits are incredibly small, as in .375" high. What, how much is that? More than a quarter, less than half an inch. That's the magnet, not the type print. The strips are hard to read and could be hard to handle for some folks (I'm talking to you, Arthur Itis).  The magnetic strips in the Really Big Words kit are 1.5" high and that's a more do-able size. Most kits have at least 200 words, the Really Big Words kit has 100.

Well, we're a clever bunch of folks, so let's make magnetic poetry kits specially designed for youngsters, oldsters, and anyone else totally frustrated by the teensy-weensy things of life. These are not necessarily cheaper- most of the Official Magnetic Poetry kits run $11 to $20 plus shipping and handling if you have to order. I bought the Magnet Sheets at Office Depot for $5.97 per package. There are three sheets in each package. So you might break even by making your own, depending on how many sheets you print. However-- I have included a blank template so that you can make sheets personalized to your own needs.

You will need:

As mentioned, I got the Magnetic Sheets at Office Depot and my local Wal-Mart has them as well. If, for some crazy reason, you cannot find them, here are some online resources to try. I have not done business with any of these places and will not vouch for them- just sending you to some sites where you can purchase magnetic sheets if needed.

Custom Magnets

The Magnet Source

All Magnets Inc.

A note- Scissors are lovely to use to cut the words apart but a paper cutter or metal ruler and Exacto knife work well also.

Download the word templates for this project and save them to your computer.

Blank Template- Use this template to print customized word lists: business name, town/state, family and friend's names, local landmarks, favorite activities, leisure and hobbies, whatever you can think of or need.

I have also developed six word sheet templates that you can download for free (!) I developed these templates based upon three things:

  • A word list for the Magnetic Poetry that I found on Amazon.
  • A list of the most commonly used words in the English language that I found here.
  • Life and interests in a long-term care setting, because that is the audience for whom I originally developed this project.

It's kind of hard to see in this photo but the sheet on the far right is the blank template.
It has light gray lines as a guide when you open it in Word and these lines
also serve, on all the templates, as cutting lines.

Click on each template title below to go to the download. I hope to get these all together in one file so that you won't have to click each individual one but I'm still figuring out the publisher (or the publisher is still figuring me out, whichever). Please let me know right away if you can't get the links to open and I'll email them to you.

Magnetic Poetry- Sheet One
Magnetic Poetry- Sheet Two
Magnetic Poetry- Sheet Three
Magnetic Poetry- Sheet Four
Magnetic Poetry- Sheet Five
Magnetic Poetry- Sheet Six

I have an HP printer and set my Printing Properties to "Automatic" for paper type and "Fast Normal" for print quality. No need to use any of the "fancy" paper types- I did a few test runs and there's not much difference from one paper type to the next. However, my printer has Fast Draft, Fast Normal, Normal, and Best quality settings. Because ink is so expensive I usually print in the lowest quality setting that I can get away with. Sometimes, however, it's better to go up a level and this is one of those times. If you look closely at the photo below, you'll see that the page on the far right is not as dark as the others. That one was printed with Fast Draft, the other two with Fast Normal and Normal. So go with Fast Normal or a comparable setting on your printer. We want these to be dark enough to be easily seen and to last through being handled.

Also- these sheets are for Inkjet printers only. Avery has a printing tips for their magnetic sheets- click here.

So now that you have your sheets cut out, start by cutting along the gray horizontal cutting lines.

Then cut out each word. This takes a bit of time, but isn't that why we have teenage kids or commercial breaks during Doctor Who? (And just what is up with that Series 7 Season Finale anyway! Oh, we have theories.....)

I like to just slap these words up and let folks go at it on their own. You can use one of those white dry-erase boards on an easel but you definitely want to check it before you start printing and cutting because not all of them will hold a magnet. And folks can write in words that you might not have on a dry-erase board, though that sort of ruins the challenge of it. Metal fire doors that stay shut (without alot of traffic) are a good place to put these or paint a wall or large piece of luan board with magnetic paint. Of course there's always a refrigerator.

I bought this pencil box at Wal-Mart today for 57 cents to keep the words in when not in use.

I originally developed this project to use in long-term care settings a couple of  a years ago and part of the idea was that it is a portable activity. In the past two years, however, there has been an explosion of online possibilities and iPads are so much more prevelant, so here are some links to online "magnetic" poetry sites.

Magnetic Poetry Online
Shocked Poetry
World Village

I noticed as I previewed this post that it is almost exclusively black, white, and gray. Not very exciting and definitely not my style so how about a beautiful picture to liven things up, just for fun?

Photo by Allen Hsu via Flickr

And for today's butterfly picture, how about this lovely that my sister crossed-stitched for me years ago---

When I say that she made this for me "years ago" mean 1978. Maybe I've shared this here before but it had to be stored in my parents' garage for a while and suffered some water stains but I don't want to take it out of the frame because of the lovely note in her handwriting on the back. I do think I've shared that before but this is one of my favorite butterflies in the world.

OK- thanks for flittering by today. I know my posting has been sporatic, to put it mildly, but life has gotten busy so I'll post when I can and ask you to keep visiting. Thanks so much.

Have a great day!