Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

April 2, 2012

Upcycling Magnet Play

Both my 4 year old and my 20 month old love playing with magnets so I was trying to think of something new for them to play with and remembered this pin from Pinterest. It’s been something I’ve been wanting to do but I’ve been too cheap to go buy magnets.  So instead I decided to try and upcycle some old magnets from refrigerator magnets that broke and those old calendar magnets we get from realtors.  I also had a bunch of left over craft items so I pulled out the glue gun, let my daughter pick out what she wanted on each piece of magnet and we went at it creating snowflakes, fuzz balls, pipe cleaner magnets, etc.

Then we needed something for the kids to put the magnets on.  I had cleaned out a couple cans of Campbell’s soup, pinched down the sharp edges and then covered them up with electrical tape just to be extra safe.  I let my daughter pick the colors and make designs using the tape.

My son didn’t quite get the concept of putting the magnets on the cans and kept putting them inside the cans (possibly because most of these upcycled magnets weren’t very strong and wouldn’t stick once you moved the cans around) so I pulled out this magnetic board.

Of course both kids had to have a flat board to play out so I dug out a cookie sheet as well.

While the kids were playing I cut out some pieces of construction paper thinking they could play chicka chicka boom boom since we also have some magnetic letters.

But my daughter proved more creative and started making her own creatures standing in the snow.

And here she created a “monster” and started reciting Go Away, Big Green Monster.  I wish I got a picture of her entire monster but she was too quick.

All in all the kids had a blast but next time I should definitely invest in stronger magnets so they wouldn’t keep sliding off the cans.

October 26, 2011

Magnetic or Not?

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?