Magnet Science

Take string or yarn attach objects containing iron on them. Tape the other end of the string to the table. The children wave the magnet wand near the objects and watch them dance.

We made Magnet Finders and then went on a Magnet Hunt! First each child painted a tongue depressor with water colors…any color/any design the children wanted. When they were dry I put a strip of magnetic tape on the back of each tongue depressor (magnet finder). The following day we went around the school on a “magnet” hunt. What did our magnet finders stick to? (We made a list). What did they not stick to? Why? Back in the room we shared our findings with other groups. Then we took our magnet finders home to find things they would stick to in our house. The kids loved this activity!

In our sensory table at a group day care home we put in magnetic bingo chips and the magnetic wands. The kids love them. We put in two or three colors of chips, they use their motor skills to try and pick up only one color of chips. Sometimes we add plain plastic chips, they learn why some chips will attach to the wand and why others do not.

Fill muffin tin with sand, magnetic objects and non-magnetic objects. Cut Plexiglas to fit over top, add clips to seal it tight so the children can’t open, add magnets and put at your science center, no mess.

Fill your sensory table with salt and drop in iron fillings (purchased at the teacher supply store). Let the children run magnetic bingo wands over the salt and watch the iron fillings attach to the wand. Talk about why the salt isn’t attracted to the magnet.

Take a clear 16 oz. plastic pop bottle. Remove the wrapper and cap Remember to keep the cap, let it dry out totally. It has to be completely dried out or it will not work! Rub colored chalk through a strainer into another container. pour salt into the cont. with the chalk in it and mix. Use enough chalk that all of the salt is covered. Find all sorts of objects that can attract to a magnet that will fit into your bottle. Ex. paperclips, tacks, staples, nails, pipe cleaners, pins etc. Pour the salt mix into the pop bottle then add the magnetic things to the bottle. Screw lid onto bottle and tape with masking tape shut, so they can’t open it. Use a cow magnet or other very strong magnet to gather the magnetic things out of the salt mix. I found cow magnets at the hardware/farm store for very cheep 3 magnets for $4.50. they can cost up to $16.00 for other magnetic wands. the children like using the cow magnets better because they get to see the magnet as it is attaching. The 2’s&3’s had a blast with this one.

You will need a strong magnet plastic zipper bags rolling pin and different kids of cereal

Use as many cereals as you want put each kind in a different baggie. Only a little is needed. Use the rolling pin to crush the cereal. If your cereal is high in iron then it should cling to the magnet. Make guesses on which you think will cling and which won’t.

This idea was a fun way to teach children about the pull of magnets. I taped large cookie sheets to small blocks to make a little table for each child at this work space. On each little “table” I put a cut-to-fit piece of paper. I then placed nuts, bolts and other metal pieces into a pie pan with enough paint to cover the pieces. The children used a spoon to place some of these paint covered metal objects on their paper. They then used a magnet underneath their little “tables” to move the pieces around and make a painting! They were amazed! We had fun just watching them. You do need to have some good quality magnets to move the paint covered pieces. If you have magnetic marbles, they would be fun as one of the paint covered pieces !