by Jared Reese
Whether you are homeschooling your children or just looking for some educational science activities to do with your kids, then you will love these fun magnet science experiments. You can find inexpensive magnet kits for all of these projects both in stores and online.
"I Spy" Magnet Experiment
This experiment is fun for preschoolers or any child who is just learning about what magnets are and what they do.
If you are familiar with "I Spy" books, you know that the child is shown a page of a variety of different objects and then they are asked to identify specific objects on the page.
This activity is similar to "I Spy" in that you will set up a plastic bin full of small "I Spy" type items, like small rubber balls, paper clips, toy cars, washers, small erasers, etc. Make sure that some of the objects are metal and that some are not.
Give your child a large magnet and have them use the magnet to see which items are magnetic and which are not. Help your child record their observations on a piece of paper.
Pipe Cleaner Magnet Bottle
This is a fun activity for children of all ages. For this experiment you will need pipe cleaners of a variety of colors, a plastic bottle such as an empty water or soda bottle, and a large magnet.
Help your child cut the pipe cleaners into pieces approximately one inch long. Place the pipe cleaner pieces into the bottle, filling the bottle approximately half full. Place the lid back on the bottle.
Have your child move the magnet around on the outside of the bottle to move the pieces of pipe cleaner around. Your child will have fun watching the pieces move around and arranging them into different shapes and designs.
Magnets and Water
Fill a glass half full of water and place several small metal objects in the glass.
Give your child a magnet and let them try to get the items out of the glass by placing the magnet on the outside of the glass. Have them try placing the magnet in different positions so that they can see which works best.
Metal items will actually "jump" to make contact with a magnet that is slowly brought closer and closer to the object.
Have your child set out a variety of metal objects such as paper clips and magnetic marbles.
For this activity it works best to use a magnetic wand type magnet.
Line the objects up and have your child slowly bring the magnetic wand closer and closer to the first metal object until it "jumps" toward the magnet. Help your child measure to see how far the object jumped.
Test each of the metal items and see which item jumps the furthest.
This is a really fun science project that can also double as an art project.
For this activity you will need a small shallow plastic tub, water based craft paints, white paper for painting on, magnetic marbles, and a magnet.
Have your child put on an apron because this painting activity can get kind of messy.
Place the piece of paper inside the plastic tub. Place several different colors of paint on the piece of paper.
Set several magnetic marbles in the paint on the paper.
Have your child place the magnet underneath the plastic tub and move the magnet around to move the magnetic marbles around inside the tub. The movement of the marbles will create designs in the paint. You may have to help hold the tub so that the tub does not fall while the child is holding the magnet under it.
These are just a few of many fun science activities you can do with your children to teach them about magnets. Show your children that learning can be fun and enjoy the benefit of spending some quality time with them at the same time.
Jared Reese is a professional blogger that provides information on industrial magnets. He writes for CMS Magnetics, where you can find the best magnets for sale online.