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Friday, February 25, 2011

Magna Doodle

I didn't have Magna Doodle as a kid. It entered my life seemingly innocuously a few years ago as a present for the kids thanks to D... er.. Santa. It has given me, um... the kids, countless hours of fun.

Bah, I might as well come clean. Yes, I love it. Have loved it since that first little strawberry shortcake one Ana had till this larger-than-my-laptop-screen one that Oggie can't seem to get enough of. And it seemed about time I accepted and acknowledged it duly. Why else would I dedicate a whole post for it, right?!

Initially, the physics behind it fascinated me, but nowadays, just doodling on it feels like a much-needed relaxation technique.

Anything magnetic works, and that's the best part for me and the kids. Ana used to write "messages" for us with the Melissa & Doug™ Wooden Magnetic Letters that somehow always littered the floor near the fridge or dishwasher rather than adorn the said appliances.

When Oggie discovered he could use the Tow Truck from one of his wooden "puzzles" for drawing on Magna Doodle (as it has a little magnet to tow the other vehicles in that puzzle set), it didn't take him long to draw an Octopus with reasonable likeness. (Looks more like a spidery bug, but, Og insisted it was an Octopus, apparently, the missing legs/tentacles are behind him).

Ana had a lot of practice drawing and writing on Magna Doodle saving paper. Of course, the trouble was, if it was something particularly well-executed (in her opinion, at least), she wanted to "save it" - i.e., not erase it. Which was a bit of a problem.

"Mama, can you draw a rooster?", "Can you make the rooster run?", "How about a Polar Bear?" "I want a spider, with a web", "Is this a pollywog?", "Can you show me how to do a caterpillar?", "Can you write the letters? How about start with A?", "Can you draw a hexagon?", "How about a Brachiosaurus?", "I want to draw a silly face and angry face"...

Over the last year, I've spent quite a chunk of time drawing on the Magna Doodle for/with Og, and it hasn't gotten tiresome at all. So far.

Laying in bed this past weekend, with our temperatures hovering around 101°F, Oggie and I could only moan and whine till that latest dose of Ibuprofen allowed us to sit up in bed and try to find something to keep us distracted from our temporary agony.

Besides the Monster Trucks (Mark Todd), Little Blue Truck (Alice Schertle, Jill McElmurry), Cars & Trucks and Things that Go (Richard Scarry) that kept him entertained (and my throat abraded), Magna Doodle and Ed Emberley's Animals kept his spirits up.

I like that there are some shapes that came with it - circle, triangle etc., making it easy for a toddler to make a composite image without much effort.

Ana is slowly outgrowing the Magna Doodle, what with Mama's stash of various Wood Accents, Stencils, and Rubber Stamps offering fresh set of activities to explore. But, before Oggie outgrows it as well, I wanted to jot it down here.

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