Want a fun way to develop your kids’ critical thinking skills while drinking your coffee before it gets cold? Better yet an activity that doesn’t involve the iPad?
Then you are going to love this magnet sensory bin!
With very few supplies you can set up a hands-on invitation to explore sand and magnets. Science themed sensory bins like this one are a favorite with kids because they can tinker and discover in any way they want.
This is a great way to explore the science of magnets and the property of attraction without teaching the kids anything at all. By using a sensory bin kids get to discover how things work on their own.
Sensory bins are also a great way to give kids a chance to relax and calm down. They are great to use as transition activities or during quiet time.
Since this bin contains both small pieces and magnets make sure young children are getting appropriate supervision and instruction on how to play with the materials.
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How to Make a Magnetic Sensory Bin:
- Magnet dics and wands (like these from the Super Magnet Lab)
- Moon sand, play sand, or even cloud dough
- plastic bin
Magnet Activity for Kids
- Pour the sand into the bin.
- Add the magnet discs. You can bury them a bit in the sand.
- Set out the magnet wands and the kids are ready to explore.
This is a great time to go over colors with the younger kids. Talking about the texture of the sand is great too. Let them make observations about it. Does it stick, is it wet, will it mold, etc.
Watching the magnet disc come up out of the sand and stick to the wands is the perfect time to talk about magnets. Magnets are attracted to only certain objects. Metal in the disc is one but the sand is not. Also talk about how magnets have a south and north pole (positive and negative attraction) . Depending on which end is put together they will stick or push away. Magnet science is so much fun!
This simple sensory bin is a great way to introduce magnets to young kids but also a lot of fun for older kids too. My kids range from 2-6yr and they all enjoyed this magnet sensory bin.
Keep the fun going!
You can use all of the materials in this magnet sensory bin in a TON of different ways. When the kids are done playing take out the magnet pieces and store the sand in the bin. Use the magnets in more science themed play–like a sensory bottle–and add different items to the sand for another way to play.