We’ve got a growing collection of sensory play ideas as we work our way through the alphabet. This week we had some fun with the letter M. We combined sensory play, literacy, and science into one fun activity!
Learning about magnets with preschoolers
We used the above printable from Sparkle Box. Unfortunately, their site is now so filled with ads you can’t find the right place to download it without causing potential harm to your computer. (Shame on them!) Because of that, I made my own. You can get our magnetic recording sheet in this post.
I gathered the materials listed on the printable so my kids could test which were magnetic. I thought twice about the nail, but it wasn’t very sharp, and I knew my boys would be careful.
Next, I got out a variety of magnets. These are from a great set called the Learning Resources Classroom Magnet Lab.
We put all the objects into a container, covered them with dry beans and rice, and equipped my Three with a big sturdy magnet. He got right to work looking for the objects.
This scissors is magnetic!
So is the nail.
As each of my boys completed the activity, they marked each item as magnetic or non-magnetic on the recording sheet. They were surprised to learn that the brass fastener and penny were not magnetic – but it was no surprise to observe that the ruler, pencil, and LEGO wouldn’t stick.
At the very end they had to do some digging to find the last few missing objects!
After he finished, I challenged my Four to find ten more magnetic objects. The van is magnetic!
So is Daddy’s tool bench!
My kids had a lot of fun doing this simple science – and were well prepared since we’d been reading about magnets for a few weeks prior to the sensory activity. Here were our favorite books that are just right for the preschool set:
What Magnets Can Do, by Allan Fowler
If you’re ever looking for a nonfiction book for preschoolers and you see an Allan Fowler title, snatch it up! These Rookie Read-About Science Books are perfect. They have just the right amount of information, great pictures, and just a sentence or two per page. I’ve never been disappointed, and this one was no exception.
What Makes a Magnet, by Franklin M. Branley
Branley is another great author to watch for. While this book is not quite as simple as What Magnets Can Do, my kids enjoyed learning about how you can make your own magnet by rubbing the right kind of metal onto a magnet. Other preschool-friendly experiments are also included.
Alphabet Curriculum for Preschool
Our curriculum includes lessons for teaching both upper and lowercase letter names and sounds. You’ll get three lessons per letter, built-in review, simple handwriting practice, rhyming, syllable counting, phonemic awareness, and a whole lot more!
Here is the link to download the chart you referred to on the Sparkle Box website.
Yes, I have the link. The problem is that there are at least 3 download buttons on that page, and only one is to the printable. I don’t want my readers to risk getting a virus just to get a freebie.
Thank you so much for your great ideas! This has magnet project has helped me to teach this concept to my 3 year old and his classmates at their Science fair. I never thought a Preschool class of busy bee 3’sss would have a science fair but this was PERFECT!!! Thanks again.
I wouldn’t have imagined a science fair for preschoolers either, but you picked the perfect project! I’m so glad they had fun with it. 🙂
I really need to make one fo these for my kids! Thanks for sharing with Mom’s Library; I’m featuring you this week!
Thank you so much for the feature, Ashley!
LOVE this magnetic sensory play idea! What a great way to introduce scientific exploration to littles! Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity at TGIF! I featured this today. I hope to see you linked up again later today,
Have a great weekend,
Thank you so much for the feature, Beth!
Learning with magnets is always fun. Even now, when Beck and Elizabeth are older I am still finding ways to incorporate magnets into some of our science lessons. I really liked the way you placed the objects under a layer of something so they could not see what they were picking up until it magnetically magically pulled up. Very cute.
Thank you for linking up this week to the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! I do hope that you will visit my neck of the magical woods every week and take a quick rest by the tree on the tree stump while you read everyone’s blog posts that they have so thoughtfully shared with all of us.
Thank you for stopping by, Jill! And thank you for hosting your weekly hop.
Thanks for the tip on Allan Fowler! I just checked, and my library has 24 titles (though some are in French). I am reserving some right now.
I’m sure your book-loving boy will absorb the information quickly! Such fun books!
What a fun sensory bin! I plan to get a magnet set for my 4-year-old for Christmas (don’t tell her, lol!) and this is one we’ll definitely be trying. Thanks for the idea!
I’m sure she’ll love it – can’t miss with magnets 🙂 Thanks so much for checking it out, Emma!