Exploring magnet science is easy to set up for young kids! We like using everyday items to test out our science ideas. This what’s magnetic and what’s not magnetic activity is a hands-on way to teach preschoolers about magnets using simple materials. Grab some ordinary everyday items and a large magnet to get started! Enjoy fun and playful learning with our preschool science activities!

Teaching Preschoolers About Magnets

Magnet play is one of the first simple science activities kids can experience because magnets are easy to use, fun, and familiar! What do you have on your fridge right now? Magnets! What is magnetic? What isn’t? Hands-on playful learning, too!

Exploring magnets makes for an excellent early-learning science activity! Lay the materials on a discovery table or large bin for as much independent discovery and exploration as possible. Magnets are fascinating science, and kids love to play with them! 

Simple science activities such as using magnets is a beautiful way to get kids thinking, problem-solving, and experimenting with everyday items.

There are many ways you can explore magnets. Why not let your kids take the magnetic wand around the house or classroom and see what they can find that is magnetic? This is a fun way to add movement to your science activity!

Why Is Science Important For Preschoolers?

Kids are curious and always looking to explore, discover, check things out, and experiment to discover why things do what they do, move as they move, or change as they change!

Indoors or outdoors, science is amazing! Let’s introduce our younger kiddos to science at a time in their development when they are curious about the world around them!

Science surrounds us, inside and out. Preschoolers love looking at things out with magnifying glasses, creating chemical reactions with kitchen ingredients, and exploring stored energy! Check out 50 awesome preschool science projects to get started!

There are lots of easy science concepts that you can introduce kids to very early on! You might not even think about science when your toddler or preschooler pushes a car down a ramp, plays in front of the mirror, plays with a magnetic wand, or bounces balls repeatedly.

See where I am going with this list! What else can you add if you stop to think about it? Science starts early; you can be a part of that by setting up science at home with everyday materials or preschool science centers in the classroom.

Or you can bring easy science to a group of kids! We find a ton of value in cheap science activities and experiments. Check out our helpful science resources below.

Helpful Science Resources To Get Your Started

Here are a few resources to help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

What Are Magnetic Objects?

Magnets are a type of rock or a piece of metal that can produce a magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but we can see how it can attract or pull specific types of metal toward itself.

The force of a magnet, called magnetism, is a common force of nature, just like electricity or gravity. Kids will discover a magnetic field is concentrated around the ends of magnets which are called poles.

Iron is a metal that is highly magnetic. Not all metals are magnetic! Aluminum, copper and gold are metals that are not magnetic.

Magnets don’t need to touch other objects for them to work. Even from a distance magnets can find each other because of their magnetic field. Try it out and see for yourself!  

Printable Magnet Activity Worksheets

What’s Magnetic and What’s Not Activity


  • Magnetic wands or bar magnets
  • Assorted items from around the house or classroom
  • A bin or container to hold the items
  • 2 smaller containers to sort items into magnetic and non-magnetic
  • Free printable magnet activity worksheets (optional)

TIP: Examples of everyday magnetic objects could include metal paper clips, hair clips spoons or forks, keys, nuts, bolts or nails, pipe cleaners, wire, and jar lids made from steel.

Magnet Activity Instructions:

STEP 1. Set out a container of assorted items for kids to explore. Get kids to predict what items they think will be magnetic.

TIP: You can even add a few items that are not all magnetic but have a magnetic part to encourage observation and problem solving skills.

STEP 2. Use the magnetic wand to test what items are magnetic and what items aren’t. Have them place the item in the bin or tray that is labeled “magnetic” or “non-magnetic.” {Labels “yes” and “no” work well, too.} Repeat with all the items until the container is empty.

STEP 3. Make sure to ask questions and discuss their observations. Is the item magnetic or not magnetic? What do you think those objects might be made of?

More Fun Magnet Activities For Preschoolers

We love helping our kiddos learn in a multi-sensory way with one of these fun hands-on activities below. See our list of preschool magnet activities.

Magnet Painting

More Fun Pre-K Learning Activities

Printable 5 Senses Project Pack

Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle.

What’s Included:

There are 4 fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series!

Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost and book suggestions add the learning time.