One of those favorites that I made for the girls is a fairly simple one to make: a magnet board.
All you need is some kind of flat piece of metal, adhesive magnet sheets, and a printer. I was planning to use cookie sheets as the boards, but saw these cute ones on clearance at JoAnne's Fabrics and knew they would be perfect! No extra work painting or anything and I have instant cute! :) For the magnets, I tried to think of all the things my girls like the most- favorite animals, food, etc. The result is a pretty random collection of clipart, but they absolutely love having all their favorite things! I also included a picture of each of their faces.
I actually made these to take on a long car ride we had this summer, so I used a couple of my reusable snack bags as pouches to hold each child's magnets. They are the perfect size and it worked well for the car.
It is such a simple thing but the girls pull their magnet boards out a lot. They love making up silly stories with the different magnets, or even making patterns on the board with the different foods, animals, and other categories.
The great thing about this toy is that you can add to it over the seasons- I am planning to make magnets of the different characters from the nativity story for them to play with before Christmas. As their interests change, it's easy to add different magnets as well.
If you missed it, I wrote a post a few weeks ago about another toy I made for my kids- the busy box- which has also been a big hit. Happy playing!