Learning at Home: Magical Magnets Activity

Child playing with toy

What You Need

  • Shoebox lid
  • Iron filings or metal objects (nuts, bolts, paper clips, etc.)
  • Strong magnet

How to Do this Activity

Before you get started, make sure the metal objects you’ve found aren’t choking hazards for your child.

Begin by having your child put the metal objects into the shoe box lid. Then, hold the lid for her and have her put the magnet underneath it. Encourage her to move the magnet around — it will attract the metal pieces and they’ll move along with it! Ask her why she thinks the items are moving. You can even add plastic items to the shoe box lid to show that not everything is magnetic.Encourage your child to find new items to try.

What Your Child Learns

Through this activity, children begin to learn about magnetism. They explore cause and effect, ask questions, and make observations. Extend the activity by testing out her ideas about why the magnet is moving or reading a book on magnets.

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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
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Child playing with toy