Welcome to the classroom! We love to play, learn, create and sing together in the classroom, and we’d like to encourage our classroom friends to keep learning and playing at home once Caitie’s Classroom is over. We’ve put together activities and resources so the playing, learning, creating and singing doesn’t have to stop once Caitie says goodbye. Try these out at home or in your own classroom, and have fun!
In this episode of Caitie’s Classroom, we are exploring the magic and science of magnets. Magnets are such amazing tools and can be very interesting to play with, but we must make sure that all interaction with magnets is supervised by an adult as they can be safety hazards for very young children. With supervision, there are lots of amazing things we can do with magnets! We can make a magnet painting, find treasure in the discovery bin and fish tank, play a fishing game and so much more. Read on for ideas on how to recreate the classroom activities at home or in the classroom, and to build on those activities for more learning and fun!
Some magnets are so strong that they can pull other magnetic materials through paper or even plastic. That is how Caitie manages this magnet magic trick! You can try a version of this trick at home and wow your friends and family with magic!
- We use blocks in the classroom, but you can use any item that your magic can pull. If your magic is not very strong, you might want to use a lighter object.
- Attach a magnet to your item. We used earth magnets, which are very strong magnets. You don’t need to use such powerful magnets at home. Try using an item that might already have a magnet in it, such as a magnet plastic letter or a magnet from your fridge.
- We used a plastic tray in the classroom as a surface to perform our magic trick on. If you have a plastic tray, give it a try! Other items that might work are paper plates, a cookie sheet, a thin cutting board or a piece of thin cardboard cut from a cereal box.
- Place your magic item on your surface, and use another magic underneath to move the item. Taking some time to practice before you perform your magic trick helps! Be sure to say the magic words before you make your magic item move without touching it!
- If you want to add some other objects to your surface as we did, it helps to secure them in place. We used a bit of sticky tack to keep the blocks in place and we moved our magical block across the plastic tray.
Caitie explains that magnets stick to some items but not to others. The magnet in the classroom did stick to the paper clips, but not the plastic beads. You can see what things around your house or classroom stick to magnets too! Gather some items for your little one to experiment with a magnet. Ask them to make a guess if the magnet will stick to the item or not before they try.
Magnet Discovery Bin
Once Caitie showed how magnets stick to some things but not others, we used our magnet to search through the discovery bin! The discovery bin is filled with plastic beads that the magnet won’t stick to so it can find the other magnetic items in the bin.
- Make a magnetic discovery bin at home by filling it with sensory material that the magnet won’t pick up. You can fill the discovery bin with material that the magnet won’t pick up, like plastic beads, or anything you have on hand. Even small crumpled up pieces of paper would work. Find a number of items that are magnetic and hide them in the bin. Kitchen magnets are great here, they are a fun discovery.
- You add in more learning and fun to the discovery bin by adding in plastic letters or numbers to discover. Ask your little ones what letter or number they found, and what color it is. Can they think of a word that starts with that letter, or count to that number? Once they have discovered all the letters and numbers, see if they can put the numbers in order, or spell simple words with the letters. You can make simple magnets like this by glueing a magnet to a piece of paper with numbers and letters on them. You can even print out pictures of animals or sight words to be found in the discovery bin too!
- Try making your whole playroom or classroom into a discovery bin. With supervision, allow your little one to go through the room with their magnet and see what sticks to it and what they can find!
You can try your own magnet maze at home! Download and print our magnet maze to follow along with Caitie in the classroom, or try creating your very own maze, and use magnets to find your way through. Try cutting out a picture of your little one and adding a magnet to the back so your little one’s picture makes their way through the maze for added fun!
In the classroom, we use a magnet to do some fishing! You can make your own to follow along with Caitie or to play with any time you like, either in water like we did in the classroom (use the bathtub or play outside in a water tub) or pretend to fish on dry land by placing the fish on the ground (you can cut out a pretend pond from blue paper to place to fish on too!) Find instructions on how to make your own magnet fishing game here. You can add in more learning and fun by focusing on the number of fish you catch, and the color of the fish. Maybe even add numbers or letters on the fish and try catching them in the correct order for extra hand eye coordination practice.
Open Shut Them
Magnets push and pull, and opposite magnets attract, so let’s sing a song about opposites! In the classroom we sing a fun version of Open Shut Them. Here are more Super Simple versions of Open Shut Them to explore more opposites.
Find more tips for learning and fun with Open Shut Them from our How To Teach Series:
We can even use magnets to make art! Find details on how to make your own magnet art painting at home here.
We hope you have fun singing, playing, learning, and creating! We love to see photos of our friends having fun in the classroom and of their wonderful creations! You can share them with us a few different ways: