For the month of January, I have a series of posts on ideas with magnets. I have had this idea for magnet tubes on my science center page for a few years now, but I got a more close up picture of them, so I thought I’d post a better photo. (Note: Since then, I have seen these tubes on other sites and blogs, but I did not take this idea from another site. It was my own idea, but as people tend to think alike sometimes, others must have thought of it, also.)
I like to plunder through craft stores and hardware stores looking for things I can use at school. I guess you could say it’s a hobby. When I came across these coin collector tubes at Hobby Lobby one day, I immediately knew I could use these for something, and thought about making magnet tubes.
I bought the tubes that are made for a stack of quarters. I collected magnetic objects and non-magnetic objects to put inside, and the lids just screw on. I haven’t had a problem with kids taking the lids off, but if that’s a concern, you could glue the lids shut, or add tape around them. Children first make their predictions: which items will be magnetic and which items will not be magnetic? Then they use a magnet wand to “test” the bottles, and compare the results to their predictions. This Magnet Sorting Mat could be used with this activity, or you can label two baskets “magnetic” and “not-magnetic” for sorting the tubes.
From left to right, these are the objects in the bottles as pictured:
- magnetic bingo chips
- mini jingle bells
- stack of disk magnets
- thumb tacks
- paper clips
- wooden hearts (craft supplies)
- iron filings
- plastic beads
- pencil eraser
Since the lids can be screwed on and off, you could change out the items in the bottles. A few ideas for other items:
- buttons (metal or plastic)
- bread ties
- rubber bands
More magnet activities to come this month!