Help Build Science Skills: Magnets

Experimenting is one of the key activities in any child's development. This activity will give your child a chance to experiment by seeing which items the magnet will pick up. Older kids can discuss with you why they think certain items are picked up, and why others aren't.

What this activity will develop:
Science and thinking skills

What you'll need:
• Nails
• Paper clips
• Plastic tags
• Twist ties
• Clothes pins
• Popsicle sticks
• Pencils
• Assorted materials from your "junk drawer"
• A magnet (possibly from the refrigerator)
• Piece of cardboard
• Sheet of paper

Setting up:
Spread the objects out on a table. Make a graph by dividing a piece of paper in half on which you can list which items the magnet picks up and which it won't.

What to do:
Just let the child begin experimenting by holding the magnet over the various objects and seeing if they stick to it. List the items under the columns on the piece of paper. Then let the child experiment in a new way by placing an item that does stick to the magnet on a piece of cardboard. Have the child move the magnet beneath the cardboard to see what happens.

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