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Magnets and Magnetism for Kids

Updated on July 14, 2019
Ben Reed profile image

Ben worked in the UK utility Industry for 30 years. During this time he held many varied posts within the Metering Side of the business.

Magnets and Magnetism

A magnet is an object that produced a magnetic field. The magnetic field is an invisible force, and as a young child I had an endless fascination with magnets. Magnets drew me in to science in a way that few other objects could, after all — they seemed somehow magical back then as they mysteriously pulled some objects toward them, and yet repelled others away. That feeling has never left me even today.

The image below is of a horseshoe magnet. This is the type of magnet that most of us think of when a magnet is mentioned. Being in the shape of a horseshoe it has the two opposite poles close together. This creates a strong magnetic field enabling it to pick up heavy iron objects with ease.

I have put together this article on Magnets and Magnetism for kids, to help foster the coverage of this amazing subject and for the fun and excitement that these experiments help raise in the young scientist.

May the force be with you.

Horseshoe Magnet
Horseshoe Magnet | Source

Find Out About Magnets

Magnets are always metal, but not all metals are magnetic.

When we think of a magnet, most of imagine a typical horseshoe magnet. The shape of which helps to draw the two poles close to each other, this helps to create a strong magnetic field which can then be used to pick up pieces of iron.

Magnetism Fact

Did you know that the Earth is a very large magnet. Its North and South poles are extremely magnetic.

Types of Magnet - Permanent Magnets

Permanent Magnets: These are magnets that keep their magnetism. An example of this would be a "fridge magnet" - it always keeps its ability to stick to metal.

A horseshoe magnet and a bar magnet are permanent magnets.


Types of Magnet - Electromagnet

This type of magnet works due to an electric current which produces a magnetic field. This is NOT a permanent magnet as the magnetic field is only present when the electric current is turned on.

An example of a electromagnet would be a doorbell.

Magnetism Fact

A compass has a very small magnet in it. This causes the arrow to always point towards the North Pole.

Ten Simple Magnet Tricks

This video has ten simple tricks using magnetism that kids will enjoy. So simple, yet intriguing enough to stir the curiosity in us all.

Magnets can be a variety of shapes and sizes. They can also have a range of strengths. But there are two places on a magnet where its strength is greatest and this is at its poles. Every magnet has two poles - a like pole and a unlike pole. Opposite poles will attract each other and like poles will repel each other.

Magnetism Fact

Magnetic Fields by themselves are invisible to the human eye

A great tutorial video

Have you played with magnets as a child?

See results

Fun with Magnets - video

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit. - Your comments are always most welcome.

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    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      19 months ago from Redcar

      Magnets grabbed my imagination as a youngster - and they have fascinated me ever since.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      20 months ago from Ohio

      I loved magnets as a kid, and, actually, I still love them. :)

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 

      5 years ago

      I loved playing with magnets and I see my son enjoying the same thing now. Magnets are fascinating for young children, very nice lens!

    • profile image

      ParentingAdviceGuru 

      5 years ago

      How young can a child starts reading books about magnets and magnetism? My son is starting to learn on how to read, I am sure he's going to love playing with magnets and clips.

      http://readingmastered.com

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      5 years ago from Redcar

      @RoadMonkey: They do fascinate children of all ages.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      5 years ago

      I used to love playing with magnets - magic. Some great books there must get some for my grandchildren.

    • pjsart profile image

      pjsart 

      5 years ago

      I love magnets and bought many from my grandchildren. I had no idea there were so many books about them.

    • ReviewsRS profile image

      ReviewsRS 

      5 years ago

      I used to love magnets as a kid. I still have the horseshoe magnet I was given aged 6, it still works and still has the same pins, paperclips and a broken watch buckle on it that have been there for forty years. How many other toys would last forty years?

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      5 years ago from Redcar

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      These ideas are both educational and fun.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I'm really attracted to magnets! ;o)

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      5 years ago from Redcar

      @ValerieJoy: Thank you.

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      I certainly did enjoy my visit. It was fun to watch the Doodle Chaos video. Congratulations on a great lens.

    • readty7 profile image

      readty7 

      5 years ago

      I will show my son this lens, it is really fun

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      5 years ago from Redcar

      @Elaine Chen: I'm with you on this - you can't replace the fun of actually handling science.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 

      5 years ago

      I think I should let my son experience the fun of playing with magnets rather than playing iPad during free time

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      5 years ago from Redcar

      @Raymond Eagar: A great practical use for a magnet.

    • Raymond Eagar profile image

      Raymond Eagar 

      5 years ago

      I have a big magnet which I often use when I have dropped something small and cant see it.

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @OhMe: Magnets hold such intrigue for kids.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have a very old childrens book on Magnets that might be 50 years old. My grandson is enjoying it now. Magnets are fascinating and children can learn much from playing with them.

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @TanoCalvenoa: A great example - lets hope that the sun's north pole never sees our planets south pole, or we could be in real trouble from the suns particles that don't get deflected away.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 

      6 years ago

      I was explaining to my daughter recently (she's nine years old) how the Earth and Sun are like giant magnets.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 

      6 years ago

      Such a neat lens1

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @smsr0100451: Thank you.

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 

      6 years ago

      Amazing lens on magnets. First video is also too good.

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @HardyGirl: Playing - sorry - experimenting with magnets is a cool way to pass an hour or two.

    • HardyGirl profile image

      HardyGirl 

      6 years ago

      I guess I'm still fascinated by magnets - I want every one of these cool books and time to try every experiment! Thanks for a fun lens.

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @sheilamarie78: Magnets work so well and so consistently - no matter what size we are...

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      Sheilamarie 

      6 years ago from British Columbia

      I find magnets fascinating, too. They're still fun to play with, even for us tall people.

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 

      6 years ago from USA

      Magnets are fun. I played with them when I was little.

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @anonymous: Thank you - very much appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Magnets are great ! Wonderful Lens - Best Wishes :)

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @JakeAnderson: Thank you.

    • profile image

      JakeAnderson 

      6 years ago

      Very nice lens!

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @anonymous: I agree - thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      My love of magnets will never die!

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @TACTCI LM: Thank you. Science can be such fun.

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 

      6 years ago

      Fun with science and magnets! Great lens, thanks for making this.

    • profile image

      azamkhan760 

      6 years ago

      nice lens and video

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @MindPowerProofs1: Thank you for the visit.

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image

      MindPowerProofs1 

      6 years ago

      we love crafts and projects with kids. Thank you

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @BlogsWriter: Magnets hold such fascination for kids.

    • BlogsWriter profile image

      BlogsWriter 

      6 years ago

      As a kid, I was always curious about magnets, this will certainly suffice to provide answers to many questions that kids have.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      6 years ago

      My nine year old is fascinated with magnets

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      6 years ago from Redcar

      @Doc_Holliday: We often had to make do with what we had at hand back then - just as much fun was had even so.

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 

      6 years ago

      In my younger days, fun was had with a nail, a bit of wire and a torch battery.

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I didn't know there were so many opportunities to learn about magnets, I was always fascinated by them as a child and still think they're pretty cool how they work.

    • Ben Reed profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Reed 

      7 years ago from Redcar

      @Kumar P S: I am glad that you enjoyed your visit.

    • Kumar P S profile image

      Kumar P S 

      7 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • profile image

      PaulRyan 

      7 years ago

      Magnets are fun at all ages. :)

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