Two-Ingredient Tuesday: Magnet Magic

To kids, magnets are almost like magic! And they’re a great source of (mostly) quiet games and exploration. We took the magnet wands from our Robot Rally crate and invented the Magnet Magic Challenge as a before-bedtime activity.

Challenge #1: Five Things

This is (of course) to find five things the magnet could pick up, and then five things the magnet couldn’t pick up. Here’s what my 6-year-old came up with:

The great thing about this challenge is that you can repeat it as many times as you like! If the toy bin starts to get stale, you can move the hunt into the kitchen, or go dig through the office supplies.

When we’d had enough fun finding things to pick up, we moved on to

Challenge #2: Measuring Magnets

When we did this activity in my son’s kindergarten class, we used little printed grids to measure how close the magnet had to be to pick up a paperclip. For home use, I figured we’d keep it simple, and the kids got a kick out of using blocks to measure with.

We discovered that the hole punch was a two-block-magnet, while the scissors were a three-block-magnet. And the big surprise was that the Magnatile was a half-block-magnet.


Challenge #3: Magnet Pickups!

I couldn’t find paperclips, so we went with safety pins. The goal here is to build the longest chain you can. For extra credit, measure how long the chain is with the blocks!

Got any good magnet games? Share yours in the comments!

One Reply to “Two-Ingredient Tuesday: Magnet Magic”

  1. Our favorite activity with magnets like those is to take them to the beach and see how much iron is in the beach sand. Last summer one of the two beaches we regularly visited didn’t have much iron at all in the sand, until Irene came through and scoured off the top layer of soft sand, revealing the packed (and iron-full) sand underneath. Pretty interesting!

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