Preschool Magnet Science

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Here’s a fun, easy way to introduce your preschooler to the science of magnets.

I took one of our sensory boxes, this one is filled with quinoa grains, but you can use rice, small dry pasta, sand, salt, whatever you have on hand or find on sale.

I hid a bunch of objects in the grains, some sticking out, some completely burried. (paper clips, small refrigerator magnets, a clothespin, erasers, rubber bands, etc.).

I gave my preschooler a  magnet wand to wave over and dig under the grains.  As he found objects that stuck to the wand, he sorted them into a box labeled magnetic.  Then he dug in with his hands and found more objects. He tried sticking them to the magnet wand. If they fell off, he sorted them into the “not magnetic” box.

More Magnet Learning

  • We went around the house, looking for magnetic surfaces with the magnet wand.  We talked about our findings:  The couch is not magnetic, the oven is.  The front door is magnetic, the pantry door is not.
  • We experimented with this magnet and water activity: Put paper clips into a glass of water. See if you can get them out without immersing the wand or your hand in the water. Wave it over the glass and on the side of the glass.


For more fun science ideas, visit my Hands-On Science page.