February 22, 2018

Ode to the Magna Doodle

My baby is turning 3 this weekend! So what to get for the 4th child’s present, when we have so many toys already? Even though the $40 price tag stung a little (were they always this expensive?), I bought a replacement of my favorite kids toy that’s worth every penny- the Magna Doodle.

When we were kids it was the Etch-a-Sketch, the handy writing board with the knobs that drew charcoal colored straight lines. To erase we shook it heartily. Remember? Since then some genius improved on that idea and created the Magna Doodle.

It’s a writing board that has a magnetic pen, so the artiste can draw anything she wants, much better than simple, often uncontrollable, straight lines. A fancy Magna Doodle even comes with magnetic shapes. And with the simple horizontal slide of a lever, the canvas is smoothly cleared, ready for the next creation.

This has been an enduring toy in our household because it’s fun for all ages. With toddlers I’ll have them black out the screen and then we erase it to clear in an instant. The kids always chuckle when we say, “Nighttime, Daytime.” We also practice shape and letter recognition with it. I write out the upper and then lower case ABCs and sing the Alphabet song as I point to each one. We practice letter sounds this way too.

My preschooler likes to draw funny faces. Never able to draw more than silly faces anyways, she loves when I show her different and amusing facial features. We practice writing 3 letter words like bug, rug, hug that she’s learned to spell and sound out.

My first grader and I like to play Hangman with it. And my third grader likes to show me how his cursive is coming along.

I like that it saves paper and there is no mess. If only I could get them to carry it by the handle, and not by the pen that somehow has never popped off the obviously steely, attached string. By the way, the lever pooped out on our old one, but that pen was miraculously functional and intact till the end.


This post was originally written for  Sacramento Parent

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