Last year I had purchased a discounted membership to the Magic School Bus club from Groupon and every month we’ve been getting one mailer with science experiments! Yesterday we decided to sit down and do some of the magnets experiments. If your child has never used magnets before or are not familiar with them the best way to introduce them is by using bar magnets that are clearly marked for the North and South poles. Have them place the North poles together, and then the South poles and explain that this is called repelling. Now switch the North pole to sit against the South pole and this is attracting.
Next we taped one of the bar magnets on top of a toy car and then used a different bar magnet to “push” the car around by repelling like poles. It was a fun and visual demonstration to strengthen the idea of repelling poles.
We also placed iron fillings inside of a ziploc bag along with a piece of white cardboard. Our objective?
To create a smiley face by using the bar magnet to push around the iron fillings! Kids just love to play with magnets whether it is through an experiment or not! There is a great cause and effect lesson to learn with even the simplest magnetic toys!
Toysmith has a great beginner Magnet set and Learning Resources has a great Classroom Magnet set that we love. In the way of actual toys there are tons of magnetic dress up sets, magnetic building blocks and tiles, magnetic games, puzzles, and plenty more to choose from!