There’s always a lot going on in the kitchen -- collected recipes to try, grocery lists to write, maybe a postcard from a favorite restaurant. (The downside of many stainless steel refrigerators: Magnets don’t stick.) The panel here is a wooden art board, available at art-supplies stores; we customized it with a metal sheet to hold magnets and coated it with chalkboard paint for jotting down notes. Leather straps are used to hang it, and as a sleeve to keep a piece of chalk within easy reach.
These little boxed universes can be lined with scenes cut out of old or new Christmas cards. It takes less patience to make the games than it does to play them. The trick is to get a bead to roll into a hole. Your scene determines whether the beads are stars, bells, or bright holly berries.
American children's playthings have grown in size, complexity, and number, but small, modest toys endure as a staple -- whether they are homemade puzzles, store bought games, or "surprises" in boxes of Cracker Jack.
Give pretty spice or candy containers a new life in seconds by turning them into refrigerator magnets. Place a small, powerful magnet inside the back of an empty tin, which makes the tin itself magnetic. (Nonmetallic containers will work if you stick an adhesive magnet on the outside.)