We had a great time playing with magnets tonight. It didn't start out that way - they both complained until we actually got going and found our first surprise.
My kids are in first and third grade so we worked on all of the experiments I wrote up a couple of days ago. First we did a magnet hunt discovering that there were some kinds of metal that the magnet did not stick to.
Then we made some predictions about what a magnet would pick up. We had a pile of things like pom poms, cotter pins, washers, nuts, nails, tooth picks, pipe cleaners, and buttons. The surprising items turned out to be a button that looked plastic but wasn't and the cotter pins which are metal but not picked up by a magnet.
Then we looked at how much our magnets could pick up. We tested for sets of items: paper clips, washers, pom poms and tooth picks. We were pretty close on all of our predictions. We painted with paper clips.
We predicted that none of the coins would be picked up. Testing the prediction... we found that two of the three coins were picked up by the magnet: a Canadian quarter and a 50 centene piece from Costa Rica.
We wondered if there were other US coins that a magnet could pick up like an older nickel or a steel penny. In the end the kids had a great time and so did I!