Magnet Hunt

Description:

Predict and hypothesise as you explore magnetic materials with your child.

Materials Required

  1. Magnet/s
  2. A variety of loose parts e.g. utensils, Lego, buttons, staples, key rings, toys, pipe cleaners
  3. If you do not have a magnet your child may have a magnetic toy e.g. trains that connect, magnetic blocks etc. (optional)

Preparation

Any information for preparing for the activity can go here.

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Method (or Ideas)

  1. Invite your child to become a scientist, explaining that you want to conduct an experiment to find magnetic items.
  2. Demonstrate to your child how a magnet works, showing your child how a magnet is attracted to other magnetic materials.
  3. Leave your magnets behind and go for a hunt around the house to loose for items to test with your child (Include a variety of magnetic and non-magnetic materials).
  4. Take turns with your child to choose an item to test.
  5. Support your child to predict the outcome by asking “Do you think the ____ will be magnetic or not magnetic?”
  6. After testing a few items you may support you child to make a hypothesis by asking your child “Why do you think the ___ will/won’t be magnetic?”
  7. As each item is tested support your child to sort the items into two piles or categories – magnetic and not magnetic.
  8. Ask your child to look at both piles/categories and predict which one has the most. Then together count the items in each pile/category to find out which one had the most.
  9. Go for a magnet hunt around your house or outside, challenging your child to find more magnetic items.

Facilitation Tips – What To Say

  • Magnetic, not magnetic
  • Material – wooden, plastic, metal, fabric, glass, paper, foam, ceramic
  • Do you think this will be magnetic? Why or why not?
  • Predict, hypothesis
  • “I think this will not be magnetic because it is made of plastic”

Extend the Experience

  • Make a tally to record your data using two columns a cross for ‘not magnetic’ and a tick for ‘magnetic’. Support your child to make a tally mark for the result of each item tested. Support your child to count the tally marks and discuss which column has the most.
  • Take the magnets out with you and find things in the community that are magnetic.
  • Use magnets to move other magnetic items without touching it with your hands.

WHO Guidelines for Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour

As you walk around searching for more magnetic materials you and your child are engaging in physical activity.

Early Years Learning Framework

Outcomes

  1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  2. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

Principle

Principle 3: High expectations and equity. Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their achievement in learning.

Practice

Practice: Learning through play. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to simply enjoy being.

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