Magnetic Grocery Mark-Off

I think we all dread taking our kids to the grocery store.  I usually do my big runs without them.  But there are always those small runs – a quick grab for bread or milk.  To keep them occupied, I’ve whipped this up – the Magnetic Grocery Mark-Off.  It’s a metal box (I was going to use an altoid box, but discovered this cute little tin leftover from Valentine’s) with a few of the items I buy when I run to the store: milk, bananas, bread, cereal, and a question mark to represent whatever it needs to that day.  The markers, buttons with magnets attached, stay hooked to the lid until we put an item in our cart – then they can use them to mark of the picture.  Easy, keeps them occupied – perfect.  You can cover the box outside however you want – here’s a quick tutorial for the makings of the inside.  Also, be creative and think of ways to use this other places – once at a nature center my kids went on a scavenger hunt where they all received boxes with 6 pictures inside (rock, bird, beetle, etc) that they marked when they saw something – first to cover all 6 of their pictures won.  It could be adapted to make a fun roadtrip game for the car too.
First pick some clip art that fits your needs – we always run to the grocery store for milk and bread, always. So those definitely made the cut.  Now if you’re computer savy you can  place them all just so to save you a step – I didn’t want to put that much thought into it.  Next outline your box – mine was a cute heart, but rectangles are probably more practical from a layout persepective.
Then cut everything out.  See, if you had arranged things just so, you wouldn’t have to cut out all the clip art individually, but it works.  Then glue them on where you want them.  Note, I picked especially bright and cheery clipart, only to find out that my color printer was out of ink – of course.  So you can use your color imaginations.
To protect it from grubby hands and seal the cutouts down, I covered it in contact paper.  I have a love-hate relationship with contact paper.  I find the best way is to set your item face-down so there are no wrinkles on the important side.  Then fold the back over onto itself and slowly press towards the seam.  After pressing all around, trim off all the excess contact paper.
Alright, let’s move on to the markers.  I used buttons but there are so many options.  I just traced the buttons onto a self-adhesive magnetic strip (leftover from HERE) and cut out the circles.  Then peeled them and stuck them to the back of the buttons – easy.
That’s it – now you’re ready to grab your children and head to the store in confidence!!  Cross your fingers that they will be so focused on marking things off their list that they won’t even whine about having to run errands…
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