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Recently, my son has taken an interest in words. When he sees a word, he spells it and asks me what it says. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to start introducing him to words. In addition to labeling materials and things around the house, I wanted a hands-on activity for my son to play with letters to create words. That’s when I came up with this interactive, magnetic learning tool–DIY Magna-Spell! I chose to start with the words most important to him; his name, his sister’s name, mom and zoo (his current favorite place and word to find in print).


  • Metal cake pan or cookie sheet
  • Magnetic foam letters
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Rubber cement 

Step 1:

Pick out the letters to make the words you would like to spell. Be sure to only capitalize the first letter of proper nouns! A common mistake parents make is teaching their child to recognize or write their name in all capital letters.

Step 2:

Space the letters out on the paper and trace them with pen.

Step 3:

Use rubber cement on the cake pan and secure the paper on the cake pan. I like to use rubber cement because you can remove the paper easily to put on a new paper with new words later!

That’s it! Give your child the letters and model how to use the toy together. Start by only offering the letters in the words you made. To increase difficulty, add letters to chose from that are not part of the word.

Now you have a simple, interactive teaching tool for your child. The number of words you can make with the Magna-Spell is countless!

Looking for other fabulous learning activities? Try out these!

13 Ways to Learn Letters Without Flashcards

Magnetic Letter Board

DIY Letter Builders and Letter Learning Activites

Supporting Literacy