I had two stations set up for this:
I filled two aluminum trays of various items, both magnetic and non-magnetic. We have these great magnet wands from Learning Resources that we used for this.
Half the children used the wands to determine what objects were magnetic and what weren’t. On the other side, I had a small blackboard, magnetic letters and magnetic gears that we got from Lakeshore Learning.
We also own a set that has shapes that come with two metal trays for the children to play on. After a set number of time, the children switched places and played on the other station.
Afterwards, we have a set of round magnets. Each child got a magnet wand went around the room experimenting to see what in the room was magnetic and what wasn’t.
Lastly, we attempted an activity I found on National Geographic Kids called Magnetic Pick Up. Here are the materials and instructions:
YOU WILL NEED
- A piece of paper
- A paper clip
- Clear tape
- A strong magnet
Cut a paper kite shape about three inches long and attach a paper clip to one corner. To the opposite corner, tape a piece of thread about eight inches long. Tape the other end of the thread to a flat surface. Use a strong magnet to pick up the paper clip and extend the string to full length. Hold the kite between your fingers and slowly move the magnet away from the paper clip. When you release the kite, it “flies,” unattached to the magnet.
I made the kites a bit too big and we didn’t have a magnet strong enough to get the kite to fly, but we had fun trying with the number of paper clips, using the round magnets we had, and the wands.