Today I'm sharing a few magnetic activities that I've used with my preschooler. Sorting Magnetic and Non-Magnetic items is a well known Montessori activity but what else can children learn about magnets in the early years?
- Wand Magnet & Iron Filings - the child can use the wand magnet to attract the iron filings and move them around the case and out of the red coloured sand.
- Wand Magnet with DIY Cases - including paper clips, short lengths of chenille twistable stems (pipe cleaners), and metal rings. The child can use the magnet to attract and move the items in the case. The cases are containers our paper clips came in. We could tape the lid or glue it closed with a hot glue gun. Jars or small spice containers may also work well.
- North/South Bar Magnets - this is a wonderful activity for learning about North and South Poles.
- Ring Magnets and Stand - our magnet set comes with some activity cards that prompt the child to place the rings in a specific order, but for my three-year-old, I've simply allowed him to experiment and play with the rings. This activity was a huge hit and is so much fun!
- Take Your Magnet on a Magnet Hunt - using a Wand Magnet. This activity simply encourages the child to take the magnet around the house or room and see what is magnetic. My child cannot read this card, I will read it to him and we will look together, but the card serves as a prompt.
- Magnetic Non-Magnetic Sorting - this is a lovely traditional Montessori activity. The child uses the wand magnet to sort the items into those that are magnetic and those that are not magnetic.
- Horseshoe Magnet and Magnetic Balls - this has been provided for open-ended experimentation, but we could ask the child how many balls they think the magnet will hold. We could provide two magnets and work with the child to see who's magnet can hold the most balls, or we could provide two different magnets and see which is strongest, or which holds the most balls.
- Wand Magnet and Magnetic Chips in Magnetic Bowl - this is also for open-ended play and experimentation. Here the chips are in a magnetic bowl. I've read magnetic bowls are useful for kids woodworking to hold the nails and screws. Here they keep all the magnetic chips in the bowl and the child has to pull them off with the want magnet.
All of our magnets are from the Magnet Set c/o Modern Teaching Aids.
A wand magnet used with a case of iron filings and coloured sand. This is such a fun activity, my three-year-old can play with this all day.
The iron filings are attracted to the magnet, and the child can separate the filings from the sand.
These DIY cases also hold my three-year-old's attention. I've used old paper clip packets and filled them with various magnetic items including small, coloured paperclips, short pieces of pipe cleaners and some metal rings.
The small pieces of pipe cleaners are attracted to the magnet and the child can move them around the case.
This is fun to watch! We could also put small bells, metal washers, screws, nuts and bolts in the packets.
North/South pole magnets. I like these are labelled N and S too, we can start a conversation about how magnets work.
This is a simple prompt card that I printed to encourage my child to take their magnet on a hunt around the room, looking for magnetic items.
These magnetic rings and stand are fantastic!! It is like magic to the child. The magnet set comes with a few cards for the child to follow but I've presented this simply for the child to play with and explore the properties of the magnets.
This is crazy fun! How does it work? Is it magic?
This work is irresistible.
This is also fun, the child uses the large horseshoe magnet to pick up the balls. How many can you pick up?
We could also provide different magnets and see which one picks up the most balls.
A Magnetic, Non-Magnetic sorting activity.
We can add more things from around the home. This is perhaps one of the first activities we've used with the child in developing a hypothesis. Do you think this will stick to the magnet? Is it magnetic or non-magnetic? Let's see!
This is a simple exploration tray with a wand magnet and magnetic ships but the chips are in a magnetic bowl, which adds another element of fun.
All of our magnets are from the Magnet Set c/o Modern Teaching Aids. The Magnet Set contains 20 double-sided activity cards, a wooden card stand, and all the magnets and materials you need to do the activities. This kit is labelled from 3yrs+.
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