Social Distance Learning Project: Magnetic Art

We love this process art experience because it mixes in a bit of science. Kids love the unpredictability of it and that’s another reason why it’s a fave. Each painting is unique and you can easily change up the variables to keep their attention and keep them learning.
Video Tutorial: magnetic art video
A large magnet or magnet wand, various metal objects (like ball bearings, springs, and screws), various non-metal objects (like marbles, Legos, and plastic caps), paper, a plastic tray with sides or a cardboard box lid, paint, paint cups or an egg carton, and spoons.
1. Pour the paints in containers that are deep enough to dip in each of the objects.
2. Place the paper inside the tray or box lid. Cut the paper if necessary.
3. Dip a metal piece in paint and drop it into the tray. Then take the magnet and move it around under the tray.
4. Here’s where the science part comes into play. Dip a non-metal piece in paint and drop it into the tray. What happens when the magnet is underneath?
Playing with magnets is one of the first bits of science most children discover. That’s because magnets are easy to use, safe, and fun. They’re also quite surprising. Remember the force when you held two magnets close and felt them either attract (pull toward one another) or repel (push away from one another)? One of the most amazing things about magnets is the way they can attract other magnets or other magnetic materials invisibly, through what we call a magnetic field. This project demonstrates that quite nicely.
Experiment with more metal and non-metal objects and encourage your child to try moving the magnet in different directions. Do the screws move differently from the ball bearings? What track pattern does the spring leave?
Sponsored by National Grid.

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