Exploring magnets makes for awesome play and learning for young kids! Magnets are fascinating science, and kids love to play with them! There are so many low or no-prep hands-on magnet activities that you can do with preschoolers and kindergarteners to introduce this concept. We love easy hands-on preschool science activities!
Why Science Is Important For Preschoolers!
Kids are curious and always looking to explore, discover, check things out, and experiment to find out why things do what they do, move like 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 have so much curiosity 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 of course exploring stored energy! Check out 50 awesome preschool science projects to get started!
There 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 over and over again.
See where I am going with this list! What else can you add if you stop to think about it? Science starts early, and you can be a part of that with setting up science at home with everyday materials.
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 that will help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.
- Best Science Practices (as it relates to the scientific method)
- Science Vocabulary
- 8 Science Books for Kids
- All About Scientists
- Science Supplies List
- Science Tools for Kids
What Are Magnets?
Magnets are a type of rock or a piece of metal that can attract or pull specific types of metal toward themselves.
The force of a magnet, called magnetism, is a common force of nature, just like electricity or gravity. Magnets don’t need to touch other objects for them to work. Try it out and see for yourself!
You may have seen magnetism at work with magnets on your fridge! Those magnets are attracted to the metal on your fridge and stay put because of it.
Children’s Books About Magnets
Introducing young kids to magnets through books is a great way to make learning fun and engaging.
“What Makes a Magnet?” by Franklyn M. Branley: This book is part of the “Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science” series, which is designed for young readers. It provides a simple and clear explanation of how magnets work, including what materials are magnetic and how magnets attract and repel.
“Magnets Push, Magnets Pull” by Mark Weakland: In this book, young readers explore the basics of magnets through colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand text. It covers the fundamental concepts of magnetic attraction and how magnets are used in everyday life.
“Magnetic Max” by Monica Lozano: “Magnetic Max” is a delightful story about Max, a young boy who discovers the magic of magnets. As Max explores the world around him, young readers learn about the properties of magnets and how they can be used in playful ways.
“Science with Magnets” by Sally M. Walker: This book is part of the “Science Activities” series and is designed for preschoolers and early elementary students. It offers hands-on activities and experiments that help children explore the world of magnets and understand their properties.
“Magnets: Pulling Together, Pushing Apart” by Natalie M. Rosinsky: In this informative book, preschoolers are introduced to the science behind magnets through engaging text and photographs. It covers topics such as the Earth’s magnetic field and how magnets are used in everyday objects.
Set Up A Magnet Science Center
A science center or discovery table for young kids is an excellent way for kids to investigate, observe, and explore their interests at their own pace. These centers or tables are usually filled with kid-friendly materials that don’t need constant adult supervision.
A science center may have either a general or specific theme depending on the current season, interests, or lesson plans! Usually, kids can explore what interests them and observe and experiment without adult-led activities. For example, dinosaurs, 5 senses, rainbows, nature, farms, and more!
Materials For A Magnet Science Center
A magnet science center is a fun hands-on for preschool and kindergarten age kids to explore magnetism. Set up an area or table with the following:
- Magnets of various shapes and sizes.
- Magnetic and non-magnetic objects (e.g., paper clips, plastic toys, wooden blocks, coins, aluminum foil, plastic containers).
- Magnetic wand or bar magnet.
- Magnet-themed books and posters.
- Containers for organizing materials.
Encourage children to explore the magnets and objects independently. Let them use the magnets to pick up various items and observe which ones are attracted to the magnets and which are not.
You can also guide kids through a few magnet activities. See our suggestions below.
These printable magnet worksheets are great to pair with our What’s Magnetic or What’s Not activity below.
Magnet Activities For Preschool and Kindergarten
Explore magnets with preschoolers with some of the following simple magnet activities.
Magnet Sensory Bin
Set up a simple sensory bin filled with colored rice, magnetic objects, and a magnetic wand for finding all the treasures. Add in a separate bucket or container to fill with objects you find! Pipe cleaners and paper clips are easy additions! Learn more about setting up a sensory bin.
Take a simple plastic container and fill it with cut up pipe cleaner pieces. See how you can move them around with the wand? Can you pull one up to the top from outside the container?
Make one of these fun magnetic sensory bottles that are great for young kids to explore magnets.
Set up a tray with a number of everyday objects, some metallic and some not. This is a fun for kids to observe what is magnetic with common objects around the house or the classroom. Great for discussion on why or why not something is magnetic. Use the free printable above as an optional addition to this hands-on activity.
He enjoyed using the bar magnet to test the objects and was excited to show me what was magnetic or to tell me what didn’t stick. I started noticing the bar magnet stuck around the house as well.
Magnets and Water
Can objects be magnetic when place in water? Fill a tall vase with water and add a paper clip to it. Use the magnetic wand to pull it out of the water.
There are so many fun ways of using blocks of frozen water for play and learning with young kids. Our magnetic ice activity is all about exploring ice and magnets.
Make this easy magnetic fishing game by cutting fish out and placing a paper clip on each one. He used a pretend fishing rod from a puzzle to go fishing. Make your own pole with a dowel, string, and donut-shaped magnet! I also included magnetic discs for him to pick up.
Painting with magnets is a fantastic way to explore magnetism and create a unique piece of art. This magnet art project is a hands-on way to learn using simple materials.
This has to be one of the coolest slime you will ever make. All you need is liquid starch and the secret, magnetic ingredient for a very exciting science demonstration. Turn slime into a magnet!
Make one of these fun magnetic maze puzzles where kids can use a magnet to direct their paperclip through the maze.
More Fun Preschool Topics To Explore
Printable Preschool Activities Pack
Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle.
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.