The idea for this magnetic scavenger hunt was all 5 year old Aiden’s. It’s a great way to explore magnetism and it requires no set up. Affiliate links are included in this post. Thanks for supporting Inspiration Laboratories.
Magnetic Scavenger Hunt
You’ll need a magnet for this activity. Aiden used his magformers. The Jumbo Mighty Magnet from Learning Resources or any refrigerator magnets you have would work well, too. Use caution when dealing with magnets. I recommend using larger magnets (as magnets are dangerous if swallowed). Also no need to use crazy powerful magnets for this scavenger hunt – just your average large magnet will do fine.
Walk around the house and try to find things that are magnetic. Aiden was on the look out for things that were metal. From his previous experiences with magnets, he knew that metal objects were likely to be magnetic. (Not all metals are magnetic though.)
Ask your child: How do you know if something is metal? What does metal look like? (He might say: shiny, silver, smooth.)
If your child is new to exploring magnets, let her place the magnet on many surfaces and objects. (Be sure to avoid electronics of course.) She will begin to observe a pattern. Ask: Can you predict if this object will be magnetic? Have her test her prediction. Was she correct?
Aiden collected all of his magnetic finds and brought them to the kitchen table.
Once there, he requested that I play a game with him. Each object on the table had some part that was magnetic. It was our job to find the magnetic spot. For example, the tape measure was mostly plastic. There was a small piece of metal at the end. This was the magnetic part.
Showing me what he had found and testing all of the objects again was just as exciting as the initial search.
More Ways to Explore Magnetism
- A toddler, a box, and a magnet – the very first time Aiden explored magnets
- Explore magnetism by sorting objects that are magnetic from those that are not.
- Use a magnet to help you navigate a hidden maze.
- Make this mini magnet maze from Science Sparks.
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