This was a really easy activity to put together for Kiddo and provided lots of entertainment (very important for lazy parents like me). It's a bit like those I-Spy jars parents make for their kids, and just as easy (if not easier!) to make. My kids love the magic of magnets and with proper supervision, they add a nice touch of science learning to the day.
Disclaimer: Adult supervision is required. ALWAYS supervise children when playing with magnets. Magnets are dangerous if swallowed. DO NOT give magnets to children under 3 or to any children who may put them in their mouths. If a child ingests a magnet, seek medical help immediately.
Magnet Busy Play Jar for Kids
I filled a clear container (I used glass, but if you are worried about it breaking, then plastic will also work) with paperclips and some metal washers, then added some red lentils for color. (You could also use rice.) Using a strong magnet on the outside of the container, Kiddo could lift the paperclips and washers, move them around, hunt for them in the lentils, make chains, etc. It was a big hit.
I didn't get any photos of my son actually playing with it, because I was busy cleaning up his brother's poo explosion, which is just more proof that this activity kept him busy for a while!
Oh, look! I made a video:
PS I've had some inquiries about the wand and colored coins in the video. Here's an affiliate link where you can see them in this magnet wand set.
Need more easy distractions for your children? You'll find lots on our Giant List of Indoor Activities for Kids, or check out all 9 of our favorite ways to play with magnets.
More easy science fun:
- Water drop races
- Magnet sanity saving game
- DIY magnet building "blocks"
- Leak proof bag science experiment
- DIY simple science lab
***ALWAYS supervise children when playing with magnets. Magnets are dangerous if swallowed. DO NOT give magnets to children who may put them in their mouths.
Very cool--we'll have to try this soon.
That's a neat idea! I'll have to give it a try. 🙂
This is a fun idea! An especially good way to let little ones play with magnets without worry. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Crescent Moon says
What a cool project! My son loves playing with magnets. We'll have to try that.
Bona Fide Mama says
GREAT idea! My kids will love it. They have some new magnets that they are just loving. Perfect way to use them.
Toddler Play says
This is so creative. I love it. Thanks for sharing.
Nechama Sara says
I tried this with my four-and-a-half-year-old. He didn't have much patience for it, but then we changed it a little bit and he loved it - we put the magnet into the container and shook it, then he search for the magnet and pulled it out with all the clips stuck to it. He had lots of fun pulling the clips off the magnet and putting them back into the container, then we shook it again to disperse the clips and opened the lid to insert the magnet again and started all over. He really loved it!
What a great variation! I'm so glad your son had so much fun with it!