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2-23-00 Question 9

Dear Preschool Teacher,
    I am currently going to the University of Rhode Island and have a practicum each week where I need to do an activity.  Next week is manipulative and I would like to do something with magnets.  Do you have any suggestions or innovative ideas that I would be able to use for this activity?  Your help is much appreciated.
Magnet Manipulative

Dear Magnet Manipulative,
Our "Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff has come up with many suggestions for you.
Good Luck To You!
The Preschool Teacher

Dear Magnet Manipulative,
    Try finding the book, MUDPIES TO MAGNETS: SCIENCE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN by Robert Williams, Robert Rockwell and Elizabeth Sherwood.  It's full of hands on science activities for preschoolers!
"Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff member

Note: You can buy this book by following this link to It really is a wonderful book.
  More Mudpies to Magnets : Science for...

Dear Magnet Manipulative,
    We do magnetic marble painting.  We use a cookie sheet (actually a pizza pan) with a magnetic marble - put your paper on just like regular marble painting.  I rigged up a stand and duct-taped the pan to it so a hand fits easily underneath to move the marble around using a magnet on the underneath side.  Children and adults are quite fascinated by it!

      I've also put various items and magnets out for the children to experiment with, sometimes we hypothesize before trying.
"Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff member

Dear Manipulative,
    I book I frequently use is by Totline called Theme-A-Saurus.  Here is an idea: Magnetic Attraction - Let the children discover that magnets can attract or repel each other by experimenting with donut-shaped magnets and small sections of dowels set in play dough bases.  Have the children try to put them on the dowels so that they stick together.  Then they can reverse the direction of the top magnet - they repel each other.
Good Luck!
"Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff member

Note: You can find many Theme-A-Saurus books at Amazon. Please use the link below. 

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