We have a little magnet set that we play with frequently, the magnets in the cars repel each other and the children are always so surprised that they can feel the force pushing the cars apart.
To try and explain magnetism, we did a fun little activity.
First we had a play to see which type of objects a big magnet stuck to, once we’d decided metals were the key, we made some predictions about other objects and then tested them. You could even draw a table to make this activity a bit more formal.
Remember – not all metals are attracted to magnets, but iron and steel ( steel is mostly iron ) are.
To make the mini maze ( and you could make a large version of this ) you need:
- Thick cardboard
- A Magnet
- Metal Paperclip
- Draw a maze on the cardboard.
- Draw a cardboard bug or any shape you like.
- Place a paperclip over the bug.
- Place the paperclip at the start of your maze and the magnet underneath the cardboard.
- As you move the magnet, the bug should move too.
All about Magnetism
Magnets attract some objects but not others and can be different strengths.
Magnets have two poles, we call one the north pole and one the south. Depending on which poles you place together they can either attract each other or repel. Opposite poles attract.
If you take any videos of you and your children doing any of our activities please share on G+ and tag us using #ScienceSparks. I’d love to see and share them around.