Here’s an interesting science activity to see how far something magnetic will “jump” as you put a magnet closer to it.
For this magnet activity, I first placed a long piece of masking tape on the table. The red dot drawn on the tape signified the starting point. The magnetic objects all begin at the red dot.
We collected some objects that we knew were magnetic (by the time we did this activity, the children knew what was and wasn’t magnetic). We used: paper clips, magnetic marbles, jingle bells. The magnet wand was placed on the tape, and slowly pushed along the tape towards the magnetic object.
At the point where the object “jumped” to reach the wand, a child marked the spot on the tape with a marker. We tried several different objects to see which ones would jump the farthest distance and which the closest.
The magnet marbles jumped the farthest, but for the paper clip and jingle bell, the magnet had to be very close for them to move. Stronger magnets would probably make this a better activity. I have seen some “super strong” magnets in an educational catalog, and that’s probably what we need.