I wanted to put together a sensory bin that explored a scientific concept, but wasn't quite sure what would work. Then the idea of using our growing magnet set seemed like an easy fit!
Paper Clips (we used almost 300)
Magnets of various sizes and strengths
A sheet/blanket for the floor (optional, but I was very glad for it this time!)
I added the small birdseed into the bin and stirred in the paper clips. On the side I gathered our magnet collection.
I then showed the boys the bin and let them begin exploring.
They took turns using the different magnets to try and pull the paper clips from the birdseed. As they explored they talked about which magnets were stronger (and worked better.) We also talked about why the birdseed didn't stick to the magnets. (It wasn't magnetic and not made of magnetic material.)
They worked together to get all of the paper clips out of the bin. And when they had finished? They added them all back into the bin and began again!
I was pretty glad I put the sheet down as the more they explored the more birdseed did come out of the bin. But when we were done, I just shook the sheet outside so the birdseed could become a snack for the real birds!
I could see this becoming a great go to activity on a rainy or cold day too! I also imagined you could try this same activity with rice or dried beans. Can you think of other filler ideas for this magnetic exploration?
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