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Magnetic Attraction: Sensational Sensory Ideas for Kids

Children love playing in the sand. Children love playing with magnets. Put the two together, and it’s a winning combination!

Sand is a wonderful sensory experience for children and young children learn so much through their senses.  Sand runs through fingers.  It can bury things. It feels soft, yet provides resistence when moving through it.

Magnets are perfect tools for discovery learning. There is a quote that Benjamin Franklin once said:

"Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand."

Playing and exploring with magnets is the best way to understand how they work!

A magnet sensory bin is very easy to put together.

For the container, a traditional sand table works well for a classroom, or a plastic storage bin works well for a smaller number of children.

Sand  is best for the base (dustless sand sold for use in sand tables works well.)  Rice, beans, lentils, or popcorn kernels would also be suitable.

Start with magnet wands.  Add paper clips, magnetic marbles, wire rimmed bingo chips, magnetic letters, spoons, pipe cleaners, bottle caps, money, clothespins, jingle bells, scissors, nuts and bolts, cookie cutters, small spoons, etc.

A magnet discovery bottle is a fun addition. Cut up a bunch of brightly coloured pipe cleaners (the same as in the sand) and put them inside a 2 L pop bottle and a 1L water bottle.  Use the magnet wand to “magically” make the piple cleaners move inside the bottle.

Encourage exploration.

Bury items under the sand and “pull” them out of the sand. See how many magnets will "stick" or "hang on" to the magnet wand.


Be creative.

What other fun ways are there to use magnets? Comment below! 

Posted by Sandi Purdell-Lewis in Parent, General ← Previous Post Next Post →

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