Illustration for article titled Let Kids Practice ABCs With Magnets and a Cookie Sheet

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There are two things that are universally loved by toddlers: Playing with stuff they’ve pulled from your kitchen cabinets, and magnets. Which is why, if you’ve got some letter magnets and a cookie sheet (plus a Sharpie marker), you’ve got a new activity to keep your little kid busy for at least several minutes.

Susie Allison, at Busy Toddler on Instagram, brings us this idea: Write each letter in Sharpie on the cookie sheet as close to the same size as your magnet letters as possible. Then, hand them a bowl full of letters and let them get down to the business of matching them up.

Bonus points if you sit with them and talk about each letter while they do it; but if you’re working from home right now or just need a mental break, ignoring them while they work is also totally acceptable.

Allison suggests removing the Sharpie with hand sanitizer, which is such a pre-pandemic suggestion to make. When I originally bookmarked this in February, I intended to test out the sanitizer component. But given the fact that all the sanitizer in my community was sold out before I went in search of some in early March, you better believe I’m rationing the one tiny, sample-sized bottle I have for my family of three.

Plus, I’m not sure I’d want to risk taking some of the non-stick coating off with all that scrubbing anyway. So my suggestion: Turn the cookie sheet over and write the letters on the bottom. The bottom is just as magnetic and you can scrub it off with abandon—or leave it there for them to do another day.


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