Our science center is stocked with lots of cool magnets and magnetic objects. We started with a basic magnetic/non magnetic sort, and have slowly added more interesting items for the students to explore.
This is a pencil with round magnets on it, stacked so that they will repel each other. The preschoolers love to take them off, and put them back on again to see if they will attract or repel.
On another day, I added a tub of paper clips and a magnet wand taped so that it would hang off the edge of the center. One of our little scientists spent a half an hour playing with that magnet and the paper clips. At first, he hung them in a little chain from the magnet. He was fascinated! Then, tried adding a few more clips on the other side of the magnet. They still stuck! By the end, he had piled on more magnet wands and a pair of scissors. Finally, he dumped the whole tub of clips on the magnet to see “if it would catch them all”!
Do you remember these little Wooly Willys from your childhood? I sure do! My parents used to take us on long cross-country car trips, and my mom would bring little toys to entertain us. The Wooly Willy was always my favorite! I found these mini versions at the party store, and they are a fun addition to the science center.
We also have a number of magnetite rocks and regular, non-magnetic rocks. The kids are intrigued by the fact that the magnet will attract some rocks, but not others!
Finally, we were inspired by Preschool Inspirations’ magnetic discovery bottles. These are mason jars full of colorful paper clips and water. The students worked together and tried to figure out how to get the clips to the top of the jar. Problem solving at its best!
When they finally worked them up to the top, they shrieked with joy. “Look! They’re hanging.” It is so exciting to see the way that their minds discover new things. It never gets old!
Get those magnets off the fridge and have fun playing and learning with your children today!
Thanks for some new found inspiration! I am going to add a discovery bottle to my Discovery Area next week. I am, however, going to look for a plastic bottle. I can only imagine what may happen with a glass bottle in my classroom!