November 13, 2007 4:59 PM   Subscribe

Help me find safe, amusing refrigerator magnets for my 15-month-old nephew.

He is fascinated with refrigerator magnets, but after the recent product scares, I am afraid of giving him anything unsafe. Products like this one or these are safe but geared to slightly older kids; the pieces are too small for an infant who still puts everything in his mouth. On the other hand, a random search turns up many skeezy websites like this one, with a nice variety of images and probably too large to swallow but I'm not sure about the safety, even more so for three-dimensional plastic models like these. (At least I think they are three-dimensional. You can see the shadows.)

I'm tempted to make magnets myself, using wood letters or shapes, but what kind of glue should I use if he's likely to chew on them?
posted by bad grammar to Shopping (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics set (amazon link) ? We've got a set, and they've proven remarkably durable and entertaining (my four-year-old is playing with them even as I type this). The magnets are encased in hard plastic, and are big enough that they can't be swallowed.

My kid's never been much of one for chewing on toys though, so I don't know how well they'd hold up under repeated gnawing.
posted by Janta at 5:21 PM on November 13, 2007

Seconding the Leapfrog sets ... we have the Alphabet magnets and the farm animals magnets. They're pretty big, and our 23 month old has been playing with them for the last 6 months or so.
posted by roundrock at 5:27 PM on November 13, 2007

Could you sew a magnet inside a plushie thing?
posted by mdonley at 5:32 PM on November 13, 2007

Magnatiles are spendy but worth every.single.penny. They *might* skew a little old at first, but they 'grow' with the kid as s/he ages. Seriously, Mr. dancinglamb and I fight over them as much as the Crumbsnatchers of the household do. What's cool is that they're not the mondo-strong magnets that were getting kids sick/injured about a year back (they were swallowing components and they were getting the magnets trapped in between their intestines). We've even had some Magnatile casualties with the dogs and the magnets haven't broken loose.
posted by dancinglamb at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

My kids adore this thing - really sturdy, educational, great price. And the song it plays is a total earworm.
posted by jbickers at 5:45 PM on November 13, 2007

You could make your own using those business sized adhesive magnets they sell at office supply stores. They are thin, the size of a business card, and you can cut them to any shape. They have adhesive on one side only. They are used for people who want to turn their business cards into a more permanent magnet marketing piece, but I use them to turn just about anything in to a magnet.
posted by 45moore45 at 5:46 PM on November 13, 2007

Oh, and we do have the Leapfrog alphabet and farm thing. Yes, they're durable and entertaining. And annoying as all get out. Your nephew's parents will surely get you back one day when you have children of your own. Holy fuck, migraines are made worse when you've listened to, "Woo hoo! you've made a PIG-COW!!!!!" or hear the little sing songy voice say, "A says 'ah'! A says 'ah'! Every letter has a sound! And A says 'ah'!" for the 800th time in a row.
posted by dancinglamb at 5:53 PM on November 13, 2007

Making your own is probably less safe than buying them -- those business adhesives are not meant to stand up to a baby's relentless chewing power.
posted by Margalo Epps at 6:18 PM on November 13, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for your ideas. LeapFrog seems like a good idea. In the alphabet model, are there all 26 letters of the alphabet? And can you turn off the sound?

Magnatiles cost more than I was planning to pay, and seem a bit fiddly.
posted by bad grammar at 4:50 PM on November 14, 2007

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