Magnets are like magic and kids love to (safely) explore the magnetic attraction of objects. With proper adult supervision, these fun magnet activities are an engaging way for kids to learn about the science of magnets.
Remember: Magnets are hazardous if swallowed. Do not give magnets to children who still put things in their mouths! If your child ingests a magnet seek medical help immediately. Use caution and always supervise kids exploring with magnets. Keep magnets away your electronic equipment.
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Magnet Activities: Table of Contents
Telescoping Magnet Pick Up Tool
My kids can not get enough of this magnet pick up tool, or the "magic wand" as my youngest son calls it. He loves it when I scatter hardware like washers and bolts on the floor. He then "cleans up the mess" with his magic wand!
Magnet Busy Jar
This magnet busy jar is a twist on the classic calm-down sensory jar idea. Fill a jar with a non-magnetic material, add in some paperclips and then use this handheld strong magnet wand to find the pieces. Watch our how-to video for the instructions and to see how the busy jar works.
Magnetic Building Set
Before you recycle those tin cans, turn them into a magnet building set so kids can put their natural engineering skills to use. Or, use the set to build robot-like creations. My youngest even uses his magnet pick-up tool to stack the cans in a tower. Read the instructions here and make your own magnet building set.
Write Magnetic Poetry
My kids love to write poetry and construct funny sentences and phrases with our Really Big Words magnetic poetry kit. If you don't want the magnets taking over your fridge, use a magnetic bulletin board instead.
Use a Tegu magnet building block set and a couple of metal baking trays to design and build an ever-changing obstacle course for toy cars and trucks. If you don't have a Tegu set, you could use the pieces from the diy magnet building set.
Painting with Magnets
If your child seems more interested in art than science, painting with magnets is the perfect compromise. With this project, kids explore the intersection between science and art. Plus your kids can make some really cool designs!
Make Magnetic Bookmarks
You can encourage your kids to read, explore the science of magnets and give them a crafting project all at the same time! What could be better? These magnetic bookmarks are very easy to make and ensure your kids never lose their place when reading.
Watch the how-to video and then make a batch of bookmarks for yourself and for gifts.
Indoor Magnet Snake Game
One day when the kids were bored and I refused to allow them to veg out on screens, they came up with what I like to call a "sanity-saving indoor magnet game." It involved our new, flexible magnet snake wand, all the letter magnets from the fridge, any magnet blocks we had, and a large bucket.
The boys invented their own rules and added in a "floor is lava" twist. It's the craziest of all these magnet activities and you have to see it to believe it.
Make a Compass
Kids will learn about the science of Earth's magnetic poles when they learn how to make a homemade compass. This is a great at-home science project for tweens who love geography, maps and exploring nature, but are stuck inside for the afternoon. Follow up with some of these great geography activites or these map activities.
STILL NEED IDEAS? Visit our giant list of indoor activities for kids to keep them off screens while you stay sane.