Our magnet wands are one of our most used pieces of science kit and are perfect for all kinds of magnet experiments and investigations. When my children were little, they wandered around the house “testing” things to see if they were magnetic, and then we went through a phase of magnet-powered cars, boats and anything else we could make move.
Magnets are great for experiments and investigative activities as children can feel the force between them but can’t see it, which can feel almost magical!
If you like these, don’t forget we’ve got 100s more free science experiments and activities to try.
Magnet Experiments for Preschoolers
Magnet mazes are fantastic as they are super easy to make and can be themed to the child’s interest. We’ve had lots of fun with mini magnet mazes over the years, but there’s nothing to stop you from making a giant version!
LEGO magnet mazes are great fun too!
Crazy Pipe Cleaner Hair
Draw a head of a person and give them a new hairstyle using a magnet wand and some pipe cleaners.
Magnet Scavenger Hunt
We love this magnetic scavenger hunt from Inspiration Laboratories.
Another idea is to hide magnetic items and add clues or codes for children to break, leading them to the next thing.
Magnet Sensory Bottle
Sensory bottles are great fun for little ones, and these magnet sensory bottles are extra special. Move the magnet wand up and down, and the objects that are attracted to the magnet also move up and down!
How strong is a magnet?
Find out how strong your magnet is using felt squares. Investigate how many felt squares it takes to stop two magnet wands from being attracted to each other.
Another idea is to set up an investigation using different types of magnets and materials.
Ice and Magnet Experiments
This ice and magnet activity from Little Bins for Little Hands looks great fun.
Car Track Magnet Game
This car track magnet game is brilliant fun for young children. Print the track and cut out the cars to make it super easy, or draw your own track.
Find a story to recreate
We recently watched an episode of The Clangers where the Iron Chicken gets trapped in a pile of space rubbish. Straight away, my little girls disappeared to recreate the scene with our magnets and a stash of toys.
They created a magnet fishing rod using a stick and some string. Used plastic toys for space rubbish and made an ‘Iron chicken’ using kitchen foil with a magnet inside. It wasn’t entirely accurate to the story, but they did very well with the resources they had.
During the episode, Small and Tiny first use nets to clear the space junk to free the Iron Chicken, but their nets break. We used the opportunity to discuss materials that might have strengthened the nets. Major Clanger then uses a magnet to collect the space rubbish. The girls predicted correctly that the space rubbish would weigh down the flying music boat!
Magnet Experiments for Older Children
Extract iron from breakfast cereal. Remember to be very careful using strong magnets.
Babble Dabble Do has some incredible magnet tricks that are like magic!
Did you know you can use magnets to defy gravity? Can you see how the cardboard and paperclip seem to be floating?
If you’re looking for a great magnet set, this one from Learning Resources is our absolute favourite!
Can you think of any more magnet experiments for us?
Last Updated on October 17, 2023 by Emma Vanstone