I’ve been eagerly building up my Swagbucks(if you don’t know about Swagbucks it’s very cool! Check out more here) so I could order this magnetic set for Kaitlyn and it finally arrived! She was begging for an experiment so I just threw a bunch of stuff I found around the house into an empty container, drew up a piece of paper with circles for her to separate items that were magnetic from items that weren’t and handed her the magnet wands. I wish I caught a picture of the look on her face when she picked up the first magnetic item with the wand. She thought it was so cool.
I threw a bunch of cotton balls in the box too to make it more interesting for her to hunt for the items. It made for an interesting discussion as well over why the cotton balls stayed on top while the heavier items fell to the bottom. Once she figured out cotton balls weren’t magnetic she quickly figured out that her stuffed animals probably weren’t magnetic either because they were also “fluffy” in her words.
We went through all the items she found and talked about why she thought something was magnetic and other things weren’t. She decided that plastic things are not magnetic where as metal things are.
After she sorted everything out we started doing some other experiments. She found that the plastic ball container wasn’t magnetic but I asked her if she put one one of those metal discs in it did she think the disc would still be magnetic? She guessed yes and voila!
We also tried to see what happens if she put the discs in the container and on the cover and waved the wand under them. She had a lot of fun watching the discs move apparently by themselves and jump around the cover and box.
We talked a little about how magnets can repel each other if you try to push two “north” sides or two “south” sides together. Then we went on a magnetic hunt through out the house. She tested different things to see what was magnetic and what wasn’t. She was right on most things although a few things were tricky. We guessed our door knobs were magnetic but no luck there. We also found the front of the washing machine was much more magnetic than the top. I finally had to call stop to the hunt for bed time but even in bed she was guessing what else would be magnetic in the house and what wouldn’t be. Definitely will be trying more magnetic experiments in the future. Now I’m curious to see if I can find any good picture books about magnets. Any suggestions?