Homemade family magnets.

Don’t know about your kids, but mine loves to play with the fridge magnets. Well, with the fridge, period, but also, with the fridge magnets.

I combined that fact with a tip my mother (an early intervention specialist) gave me: show photos of family members to baby or toddler and teach them the names – mama, daddy, grandma, etc., to help him/her identify loved ones.

It’s especially important for us ex pats who left family behind. Half of my son’s extended family lives on one side of the globe, and half on the other. He has been fortunate enough to meet both great-grandmas twice now, but this is a way of incorporating them into his daily life. Same for his grandparents, uncles, and cousins.

It’s been on my to-do list for ages (it’s that kinda thing) and I finally got around to it this week. Here’s the recipe – cheap, easy, kid-friendly – if you’d like to give it a try.

Homemade family magnets

What you’ll need:

  • Photos
  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Lamination machine/access to one
  • Stick-on magnets


  • Love of your family
  • Fridge

Step by step:

  1. Choose photos that show a nice-sized, clear view of the person’s face (that’s the most important part, right?). For me, that ended up being a lot of photos of great/grandparents holding Koala – all the better, as he’s starting to recognize himself.
  2. Get the photos printed. For-real printed, not ghetto inkjet-style.
  3. Trim the photos down into fun shapes (for the sake of space and, yeah, fun shapes!).
  4. Create a background for each photo with a different colored-paper. Cut it in the same way but leaving a little bit of a border.
  5. Lightly glue the photo on to the paper (lightly, because it won’t matter once it’s laminated and you don’t want it to be weighed down).
  6. Go to Office Depot to get them laminated (it’s around four shekel a page). Or if you own a lamination machine, well, you know what to do.
  7. Place a strip of stick-on magnet to the back of each photo.
  8. Stick on fridge, bring your baby over and start naming people!

P.S. It’s a great idea for a kid’s birthday party if you can borrow/invest in a lamination machine.

P.P.S. If you’re friends with me and have a kid the same age as Koala, you better not steal that birthday party idea.

P.P.P.S. I think I’m falling in love with lamination machines. That could get dangerous. Stay tuned.





3 responses to “Homemade family magnets.”

  1. BookishIma Avatar

    Hi Elie, I recently found your blog (I think while googling stuff about childcare in Israel) . I love this idea. Me and lamination machines, we are good friends. I think you forgot to add “toddler” to the list of optional items. I certainly use mine as an excuse to do arts & crafts!

  2. ahuvah Avatar

    i just bought magnet paper – one side magnet, one side sticky and i printed out photographs..placed them on the sticky side of the magnet paper, and cut out the image. in israel-one sheet of magnet paper costs NIS 5

  3. elie Avatar

    @BookishIma – haha, touche, I totally use my toddler as an excuse to do arts & crafts, go on the slide in the park, read children’s books… I could go on. and I have got to get a lamination machine.

    @Ahuvah – awesome, I’ve never heard of magnet paper. lamination wasn’t optional for me though.

Whadya got: