Painting with magnets is a unique art project that mixes science exploration with art and design, the perfect STEAM activity!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Magnets can be dangerous. A responsible adult MUST supervise this activity. Magnets can be harmful when ingested. If a child ingests a magnet, seek medical help immediately. NEVER allow children to use magnets without appropriate adult supervision.
Magnet painting is a fun activity for kids who need a change of pace from the same-old, same-old or when you want to merge a science lesson with an art project. If you have a child who is not naturally drawn to artistic pursuits, painting with magnets may be just the activity to spark their creativity!
Note: as an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Magnet Painting Instructions
Although this project calls for a special type of magnet, you likely have all the other materials at home already.
- Paint in several colors (we like the convenience of washable paint)
- Small bowls for paint
- Spoons (optional)
- Metal objects such as washers, bolts, hinges, etc.
- Magnet wand. We actually used a large magnet we bought at a hardware store. However, I recommend a magnet wand like to one we used for our magnet I-Spy jar. The wand is easier for little hands to use than a plain magnet.
Place paper on tray. Tape the paper to the tray if needed. You can use whatever size tray you have, or even a piece of sturdy cardboard. Clip or tape the paper to the cardboard.
Squeeze out paint into bowls and drop metal objects into paint.
Using a spoon or fingers, coat metal objects with paint and place on the tray.
Hold the magnet wand to the bottom side of the tray. Using its magnetic force, glide the paint-covered metal objects across the paper.
Kids will have fun using the magnetic force to explore how the moving objects paint the paper and create one of a kind designs.
Extra-strong magnets will often attract all the hardware into a group! However, that is part of the scientific experiment portion of the art project!
When your child is satisfied with their design, remove paper from tray and place to the side so it can dry. Then, make a new piece of art with a fresh sheet of paper!
Use this science art project to explore textures. Instead of a tray, use corrugated cardboard. Gliding the painted hardware across the paper with the magnet wand produces an interesting texture.
As an alternative to dropping the metal objects into bowls of paint. Try squeezing a small amount of paint directly onto the paper. Then, use the magnet want to move the pieces through the paint.