You will need:
Various magnetic and non-magnetic materials
Paper to record results
Adult Guided Activity
Provide your child with a tray of metal and non-metal objects and some magnets for experimentation and exploration.
Include some metal objects to which magnets do not stick, such as jewellery, to prompt curiosity and questions.
Create a chart with your child that lists (in words or pictures) the objects that are magnetic, and another for objects that are not magnetic.
Developing Investigation and Enquiry
Ask your child to guess if the magnet will pick the item up or not. Try it out and then record the result.
Introduce the word 'attract' as you explore if the magnet will pick up the item, "Will the magnet attract this?"
- Ask your child to sort the items into those that are attracted and those that are not attracted to the magnet
- Ask your child to think why some are attracted and others aren't.
Introduce the word words metal and metallic and then see what else they can find that is metallic that will attract the magnet.
Provide a range of metal objects and help them to understand that magnets stick only to objects made of materials such as nickel, iron and steel.Further Exploration and Experimentation
Using magnets under a piece of cardboard, see what they can magically move across the cardboard.
Place paper clips on a clear plastic container and see what happens when the magnet is moved along the side.
Help them explore and discover that every magnet has a north and south pole. Help them explore that two north poles or two south poles will push away from each other and that opposite poles will attract one another.