My daughter and I had some fun recently with Magnet Exploration. We have been on a preschool science kick as of late and have enjoyed learning activities such as an Ice Cube Experiment and Rising Raisins. Today we aimed to discover what items were magnetic and which items were not. My daughter took her best guess, recorded it, and then tested her hypothesis. This simple science activity taught her about magnets and the scientific process.
You will need:
- Large magnet
- Small items that are magnetic and non-magnetic (2 of each item)
- 12 x 18 construction paper
I placed some small items in a tray. You will want an assortment of items that are magnetic and non-magnetic. We used crayons, candles, washers, clothespins, pipe cleaners, scissors, beans, pom poms, small wooden blocks, and marbles. I am sure you can find lots of small items around the house that you can use. Make sure you have two of each of the items you pick.
Using two large pieces of construction paper, a ruler and marker, make up two “Is it Magnetic?” charts like the ones below. One will be for your child’s guesses and one will be for the actual results.
My daughter recognized the magnet right away. I explained that we would be doing an experiment to see what items would “stick” to the magnet, but that first she would be guessing which were magnetic.
She picked up one of each of the items, examined them and then placed them in either the “yes” or “no” column.
She thought that a paper clip would be magnetic as well as a small wooden block. I did not give her any clues as she sorted through the items.
In the end, these were her guesses. She was certain they were all correct and was excited to find out.
She started with the paper clip. Yup, it was magnetic! She proudly exclaimed, “I was right!”
She was also correct about the pom pom not being magnetic.
But not all her guesses were correct. The scissors actually were magnetic. Luckily, she was a good sport.
As she tested each item, she placed it in the correct column on the results chart. Then we were able to look at the items she guessed correctly. We further examined the items that were magnetic and noticed that they were either made of metal or had some metal on them. I explained how the items that did not “stick” to the magnet had no metal on them. When we were done with our experiment, my daughter had fun trying to get all the magnetic items on her magnet at once.
For more simple science ideas check out: