Toddlers will love exploring with a magnet in this simple sorting activity. The setup is easy and the learning through play is amazing. They can experiment, discover and sort with this hands-on magnet play activity.
Magnetic Sorting Activity for Toddlers
A magnet is a great teaching tool that engages fine motor skills and is a great toddler science activity. Toddlers will notice right away that some objects are attracted to the magnet while others are not. This will spark interest and further exploration.
DO NOT USE SMALL MAGNETS FOR THIS ACTIVITY – THEY CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. I highly recommned using magnet wands that are designed for early childhood environments like THESE ONES.
- Magnet wand
- Objects both magnetic and non-magnetic
The magnet used in this activity was an interesting find at a hardware store and fun to use. Kids can experience the feel of the handle, and the weight of the magnet, as they hold it in one or two hands.
Some magnets are stronger than others and this may be a consideration when setting up the activity. Is your child able to remove items from the magnet just by tugging on them?
How to explore with a magnet
- Sort objects according to whether or not they are magnetic.
- Count the number of magnetic objects.
- How many objects can the magnet attract at a time?
- How far away does the magnet have to be to attract an object?
- Is it difficult to remove the items from the magnet with your fingers? This provides fine motor work as kids pull against the magnetism.
- Do many of the magnetic items appear grey in color?
Provide a variety of items for your child to explore. Include everyday items like crayons and toy trucks, large and small items, and colorful objects.
A magnet is a simple tool to add to your child’s play. You don’t need a lot of objects; sometimes fewer is better so your child is not overwhelmed.
Set up this activity with objects and a magnet in a box or on a tray in a space where your child can engage freely. Child-led activities support experimentation and exploration, and promote the use of fine motor and language skills.
Some more toddler activities you might like are:
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About the Author
Heather is a former preschool teacher and founder of preschooltoolkit.com, a website providing early learning resources for teachers and parents. She focuses on creating fun crafts and activities that engage developmental skills while promoting hands-on learning through play. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+