This magnet experiment is a great science activity to do with kids. So how do magnets work? Magnets have what are called North Poles and South Poles that attract to each other.
If two north poles (N) are pushed together they will repel each other, as will two south poles (S) However if you push a North Pole to a South Pole they attract each other thereby stick to each other.
This also works for other certain objects. A little science experiment can be put to the test to try this out.
This experiment is an easy one to try at home with everyday objects you have lying around. To make it more fun you can record your actions. And even make predictions.
For our experiment we used magnet wands which you can usually purchase from toy stores.
And you can also get these wands online. Along with these magnetic coins which are good for other activities.
Gathering Your Items
Firstly we made two different charts for our magnet experiment. Because we made the tests age appropriate it was easier for each of them to do.
My daughter had objects on her chart that we found before we started. We limited it to 8 objects for her test.
- A spoon
- Paper clip
- An eraser
- A button
If your kids are able to write on their own they may want to add their own items to the sheet. My 9 year old had blank spaces on his chart. He found objects from around the house and wrote down what he found.
Then he proceeded to make a prediction whether or not each object would be magnetic.
The results were surprising and even my son was amazed at what he assumed would stick and didn’t.
One by one the kids tested out their items and put a tick or a cross next to the item or picture. Some of the items were quite obviously magnetic, while others had sides to them that were more magnetic than other sides.
Making predictions was fun. E was pretty accurate with how many items would stick. She even surprised herself.
What Sticks and What Doesn’t?
A assumed that the toy car would be magnetic as it has metal parts on it. But it did not stick to the magnet.
Similarly he thought the scissors wouldn’t be magnetic but they did stick! That’s the fun part of doing a magnet experiment. Some things may seem like they will stick, only to discover that they don’t.
The kids recorded their answers onto their sheets.
They had a little fun with this activity and tried testing other objects form around the house too.
What Did We Learn?
During our magnet experiment we learnt that a magnet is a rock or a piece of metal that can pull certain types of metal towards it. The force of magnets also known as magnetism, is a basic force of nature. Just like gravity and electricity. Likewise a magnet does not have to be touching an object to pull it.
Other Activities Using Magnets!
- Give other metals a try and see which ones are magnetic and which ones aren’t. There are lots of different types of metals. Some aren’t actually magnetic.
- Go around the house and test a magnet with other larger items like a fridge or a radiator.
- Put some items into sand or water and then try the magnet to see if it still attracts the magnetic objects.
- Get a paper plate and some drops of paint. Use a paper clip (or something else magnetic) to move around the plate with the magnet underneath. Watch how it moves the paper clip and the paint on the plate.
So in conclusion magnets are a great way to teach kids about science. Learning about things that can move by an invisible force. Pretty cool! Try out doing a magnetic experiment!
You can download our charts here!
FREE Magnetic Charts BELOW
Alternatively you can make your own charts and get the kids to help.
Download one or both of our magnet record sheets below. ⬇️
And if your kids love magnets like mine do, check out these fun magnet faces that we made.