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Oh my gosh I am so excited! Since Caroline has absolutely loved learning her alphabet, I was thrilled to run into this word building idea on Pinterest! We all need a little something that is extra special to keep in the car for those… well, those desperate moments!

You know the ones: you are stuck going to a last minute appointment and have no where to take your child. You need something to distract them! This is the perfect on the go learning item. And, the best part is- it will grow with Caroline and be useful for quite awhile! My only problem is I’m not sure I’m going to want to leave this bad boy in the car!

Ok, so first of all I did not come up with this idea. I did upgrade it a bit, though! Here is the original idea on Pinterest. Fore more like this check out my “teaching toddlers” pinterest board as well! Pictures of our completed project and a step by step guide are shown below!



Here is a full look at this project:

What is it? Word building practice! Caroline is a little bit young for this still (1.5 years old), but
since she knows her alphabet and loves playing with letters, I figured this would be a fun way to introduce it in a new context!

What you will need (these links take you to exactly what we used!): 
We bought almost everything on Amazon because the prices are typically cheaper than in store, and we take advantage of the Prime membership, so we get free 2 day shipping!


A metal lunch box
Jumbo popsicle craft sticks
Magnetic strip
Fine tip permanent marker
Magnetic letters (we did all uppercase since that’s what Caroline knows right now)
We actually found our letters at TJMAXX for $3! They only have one small magnet on the back, however, so they fall off easily. I’d buy nicer ones online next time!
Hot glue gun

White board This board is easily cuttable, and big enough for two projects! We added this to the original idea because the inside of our lunchbox was not smooth. It turned out to be a great idea as an added extension for learning as Caroline needs it!

How it works:
Your child will pick a popsicle stick, stick it to the inside of the magnetic lid of the lunchbox, and then try to spell out the word using magnetic letters simply by matching the letter to the word written out for them!

Words we chose for Caroline:

I made an effort to choose words that she currently knows well. Many of these words she is saying as well. I used every letter of the alphabet. I included 2, 3 and 4 letter words, with additional more complex words (she still knows them well).There are 40 words in total, and we will add more as she needs them. I plan on only putting the 2 and 3 letter words in to start.

How it can grow with your child:
– Incorporating more complex words
– Using both uppercase and lowercase letters
– Having them write the word with dry erase markers on the white board, instead of using magnets
– Could transform box into magnetic activities with shapes and colors
– Could transform this into a math box with simple counting activities, or simple math equations on the popsicle sticks. Could use the whiteboard with this, or have magnetic numbers or dots for counting.
Seriously the possibilities are endless, and all of them will be travel friendly!

Making your board

(The magnetic strip seems as though it will hold well enough with the adhesive backing. Do not be fooled. It will start to peel off in a matter of minutes! Take the extra time to hot glue the magnets to the sticks as an extra safety precaution!)

Note: This post contains affiliate links. There is NO additional cost to you by using these links. You just get to help out a fellow Mama!

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