Magnetic Rainbow Name Busy Box

Magnetic Rainbow Name Busy Box | Mama Papa Bubba

With Miss G being under the weather this week, we’ve spent quite a bit more time at home than usual.  This has allowed us loads of time to dress-up, read in our new fairy tale fort, play round upon round {upon round upon round} of UNO, and do all sorts of fun creative projects and activities – one of which was creating this fun magnetic rainbow name busy box.

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Because we recently decided to move home to Canada come the end of this school year, we’ve been having all sorts of fun using up ingredients and materials we usually hoard throughout the year and dole out very slowly in order to make them last.  {A recipe that calls for a cup of chia seeds? Sure!  Bringing our stash of good sidewalk chalk down to the courtyard every single day? Why not?!  Using a full teaspoon of pure vanilla when called for in a recipe?  May as well!  Pulling out craft supplies hidden away for a rain day?  Yes!}  And that’s how this project came about…  We were digging around in our craft closet when we discovered this set of wooden letters I’d stashed away long ago.  Since Grae’s been really into decoding and building words lately, the timing couldn’t have been better.

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After talking about the different ways we could use the wooden letters, we decided that we’d make a name game using Miss G’s full name – first, both middles, and last – a total of 26 letters {oy}.  Grae got collecting the letters to her first name and when she was done with that, we worked on the other names together.

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Because she’s only really mastered spelling her first name but wanted to have our game include all four of her names, I suggested that we paint the letters in rainbow order, which she was more than happy to go along with.  Not only are rainbows beautifully colourful {I mean who doesn’t love rainbows?!}, but she knows roygbiv well and I knew that having a predictable colour pattern would offer her some assistance when exploring the names she doesn’t know so well later on.

Just so we didn’t mix anything up, we flipped the wooden letters over and used tiny Sharpie dots to mark which letters should be painted with which colours.

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Then Grae sorted them for us and we got to painting the letters with a couple of layers of acrylic.

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In the process, I also painted a large wooden popsicle stick with the rainbow colours, just to have as a reference.

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Once dry, all of our pieces looked like this {well, plus 9 more letters for her last name that aren’t included here}.

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With that, I simply attached small strips of adhesive magnet tiles onto the backs of the letters and dug out the little metal pencil box we often use for on-the-go activities.

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Then we were ready to play!

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Now while you may think there’s only one real way to play with a magnetic rainbow name busy box {by using the letter magnetics to spell the name, duh!}, Grae and I came up with a bunch of fun ways to use the magnets and explore her first and middle names – Gracen Audrey Marie {for now I’ve tucked her last name magnets away}.

First off, when it came to spelling her names from scratch, instead of just giving her a giant pile of mixed up letter magnets, I kept the letters of each name in a separate pile to make the task less overwhelming and more manageable for her.  Between using what she knows about letter sounds and rainbow order, she was actually able to spell all three names independently, which thoroughly impressed us both, I think!

With that, we began creating fun little challenges for one another and passing the box back and forth…

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Sometimes we’d remove random letters and have the other person put them back where they were supposed to go…

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Sometimes we’d remove all of the letters of one colour…

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Sometimes we’d remove all of the Es {or As or Rs}…

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And sometimes we’d leave all of the letters in place, but flip a few upside down for the other person to fix. {Side note: I feel comfortable doing this with Miss G as she already has a solid sense of which way letters are supposed to go, but for those who are still working on sorting out letter reversals, this could just add to the confusion.}

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Then, after playing round after round of name games, we put all of the letters into the box and took turns creating 3 letter words for the other person to read.  {I don’t think I’ll ever tire of watching little ones learn how to build and decode simple words, but when it’s your own munchkin, it’s that much more awesome.}

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After playing with our new name game for a good chunk of the morning, we placed the box on the shelf right next to the door so that we remember to take it along on our next outing to a restaurant, appointment, or friend’s house and I’m pretty sure we’ll get a ton of use out of our simple DIY name magnets.

Okay, ready for the real fun?  Our magnetic rainbow name busy box is actually a part of a huge collection of rainbow-themed busy boxes created by some of our very lovely online friends…  Check them out below!

17 Awesome Rainbow Busy Bags


Rainbow Color and Shape Learning Puzzles // Itsy Bitsy Fun

Magnetic Rainbow Name Box // {yours truly}

Rainbow Sight Word Lacing // Preschool Inspirations

Shape Lacing // The Pleasantest Thing

Rainbow Puzzle // Mommy Needs a Coffee Break

Rainbow Popsicle Stick Patterns // Playdough to Plato

Rainbow Color and Shape Match // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Clothespin Rainbow // Adventures of Adam

Quick and Easy Rainbow Busy Bag // The Educators’ Spin on It

Sort and Count Rainbow Puzzle // Powerful Mothering

Rainbow Prism Busy Bag // Left Brain Craft Brain

Rainbow Bubble Wrap Busy Bag // Lalymom

Rainbow Color Sort // Sugar Aunts

Weaving Rainbows // Best Toys for Toddlers

Toddler 4 – in – 1 Rainbow Busy Box // Lemon Lime Adventures

Rainbow Color Sorting Busy Bag // Coffee Cups and Crayons

Pipe Cleaner Rainbow Busy Bag // Still Playing School

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2 thoughts on “Magnetic Rainbow Name Busy Box

  1. I just started trying to organise this activity but they don’t deliver the wooden letters to Perth, Australia from the above link. I’ve done a quick search of our local suppliers to no avail but I might try and get someone to order them in. In the meantime, I’m going to try and cut out letters from coloured foam or paper … EEEEK!!

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