Magnets and Magnetism for Kids
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.
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.
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.
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.
Magnetic Fields by themselves are invisible to the human eye