Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • To introduce the ideas of attract and repel as related to magnets.
  • To introduce temporary and permanent magnets.

Book : (In kit)

  • Marta’s Magnets by Wendy Pfeffer

Equipment : (In kit)

  • 2 Floating Magnet Rings
  • 4 Giant horseshoe magnets
  • 12 Magic wand magnets
  • Magnet sets (with 2 horseshoe magnets and 2 stick magnets)
  • Magnetic counting chips
  • Magnetic marbles
  • Magnets (bag of assorted)
  • Metal steel chunks ( 1 film canister)
  • Nails, screws and paper clips (bag of assorted)
  • Mysterious magnet tube
  • 1 Booklet:  What Do Magnets Attract?
  • 1 Pamphlet:  Science With A Song – Magnets and Activities

** Horseshoe magnets may be made at MVLA on the Ellison Machine.
Limited number of magnet sheets is available.

Resource Books (Contact your local library to borrow)

  • Levenson, Elaine.  Teaching Children About Physical Science: ideas & activities every teacher and parent can use. TAB Books, 1994.
  • Pressling, Robert.  My Magnet. Gareth Stevens Pub., 1994.

Bookmarks : (In kit)

Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF and JPEG copies are available here.

  • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.
  • JPG – single high quality jpeg image.


  • Objectives
    • To introduce the ideas of attract and repel as related to magnets.
    • To introduce temporary and permanent magnets.
  • Introduction
    • Ask “what is a magnet?”
    • Where do we find magnets?
    • How do we use magnets?
    • What are they made of?
  • Program
    • Read MARTA’S MAGNETS by Wendy Pfeffer.
    • Show different kinds of magnets and their ability to attract the various metal objects. Note they don’t pick up coins, plastic, us, etc.
    • Suspend a paper clip on a string or thread and see how it will “jump” to the magnet.
    • Create a temporary magnet: Use a wand magnet (orange, purple, green) and attach a paper clip or nail. Then attach another clip to that clip and create a chain, which each clip being a temporary magnet. Gently remove the top clip and see how the others all fall apart.
    • Permanent magnets are the “regular” magnets which always attract metal.
    • Show how magnets repel each other. Have a child hold two of the wand magnets and try to get them together when they are similar poles. There is enough force there for them to feel.
    • Put some paper clips in a cup of water and see that magnets attract even through water.
    • Show how magnetic force works through a thin table, wood, cardboard, etc. as long as it has something magnetic or metal to attract it on the other side.
    • Encourage free play with all the magnets.
  • General
    • Many children come with the notion that magnets are just to hang papers on the refrigerators and “real” magnets are horseshoe shaped.



Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

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