Traveling Magnets

While we make a lot of art in our home, I cherish any project that develops creative and critical thinking skills. I’m attracted to fun activities with an experiential twist, and I’ve noticed lately that we’ve been dabbling in the worlds of science, literature, and dramatic play, as much as we have in that of art. For this simple experiment, we explored how magnets can travel through water and glass, speculated on how we could get the magnets out of the jar, exercised fine motor skills, had to problem-solve in order to figure out how to get the paper clips out of the water, and experienced moments deep concentration (my favorite!). And if you look closely, you’ll notice that N had to put her treasured lollipop down in order to play. A sure sign of child approval!

First, N picked up some paper clips…

And dropped them into a jar full of water. Then she used a strong magnet to pull each of the paper clips up the side of the jar.

Got it!

I’m learning that my daughter likes to try new things, figure them out, and then move on to the next thing. So she was highly engaged with this for the first three of four paper clips, and that was it. While I would have loved to see some sustained attention, it’s always nice when these short-lived activities are also incredibly easy to set up. In this case, set up was a snap (jar + water + paper clips + magnet) and clean up was next-to-nothing.

And we learned that magnets can travel through water and glass!

Two thumbs up from the child and the mom!

Special thanks to Amy at The Wonder Years for the inspiration!

What magnet games do you like to play?

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the activity idea!

    Your daughter sounds just like my son as far as liking to figure things out and then being done with them.

    • rachelle says

      Sometimes she can be engaged for loooong periods of time, but most of the time she’s like your son. It’s nice to know that we’re in good company :)

  2. says

    Fantastic! Fantastic! Simple, creative, and a perfect activity for curious kids.

    P.S. I just found your blog via momtastic. I’m in love!

    Hi Jen! I‘m so glad you found me :) Welcome! I’m a new fan of your site too — it’s brilliant! Please feel free to chime in with ideas and feedback anytime.

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