3-6 Culture Album – Science – Use of a Magnet

USE OF A MAGNET (individual presentation)

To explore the use of a magnet and to discover what it attracts.

3+ years

Large magnet. Basket of metal and non-metal objects.
A felt cloth.

Invite a child to join you and carry the materials to a table.
Lay out the felt mat and arrange the materials neatly, in order of use.
Introduce the magnet, “This is a magnet, it attracts things. Let’s discover which objects it will attract.”
Remove a metal object from the basket and place it on the felt mat.
Hold the magnet close to the object, it will be attracted to the magnet.
Invite the child to try.
Place it to one side.
Repeat the procedure for a non-metal object.
It will not be attracted to the magnet. Place it to the other side.
Invite the child to continue, sorting the items according to whether or not they are attracted to a magnet.
When finished, replace the materials.

Exercise 1:
As in presentation.
Change the objects frequently.

Exercise 2:
Make a temporary magnet with an older child.
Stroke a large iron rail from end to end with one pole of a strong bar magnet approximately twenty times.
Stroke slowly and gently in one direction only, being sure to life your hand up in the air before coming down for another stroke.
The nail will become a magnet and able to pick up light metallic objects.
Invite the child to make his own magnet.

Note: After a few days the nail will lose its magnetism.