Updated date:

Magnets and Magnetism for Kids


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

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.

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.

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.

A great tutorial video

Fun with Magnets - video

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on November 26, 2017:

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

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 12, 2017:

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

VioletteRose LM on April 22, 2014:

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

ParentingAdviceGuru on January 22, 2014:

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.


Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 05, 2014:

@RoadMonkey: They do fascinate children of all ages.

RoadMonkey on January 05, 2014:

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

pjsart on October 31, 2013:

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

ReviewsRS on October 23, 2013:

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 (author) from Redcar on October 21, 2013:

@WriterJanis2: Thank you.

WriterJanis2 on October 21, 2013:

These ideas are both educational and fun.

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on October 13, 2013:

@Scarlettohairy: They certainly do have attractive qualities.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on October 13, 2013:

I'm really attracted to magnets! ;o)

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on August 29, 2013:

@ValerieJoy: Thank you.

Valerie Smith from New Zealand on August 28, 2013:

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

readty7 on August 09, 2013:

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on August 04, 2013:

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

Elaine Chen on August 03, 2013:

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on July 26, 2013:

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

Raymond Eagar on July 26, 2013:

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on June 29, 2013:

@OhMe: Magnets hold such intrigue for kids.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on June 29, 2013:

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 (author) from Redcar on June 25, 2013:

@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.

TanoCalvenoa on June 25, 2013:

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on June 21, 2013:

@VspaBotanicals: Thank you.

VspaBotanicals on June 20, 2013:

Such a neat lens1

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on June 15, 2013:

@smsr0100451: Thank you.

smsr0100451 on June 15, 2013:

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on May 17, 2013:

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

HardyGirl on May 17, 2013:

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 (author) from Redcar on May 13, 2013:

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

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on May 12, 2013:

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

ryokomayuka from USA on April 23, 2013:

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

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on April 23, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you - very much appreciated.

anonymous on April 23, 2013:

Magnets are great ! Wonderful Lens - Best Wishes :)

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on April 19, 2013:

@JakeAnderson: Thank you.

JakeAnderson on April 18, 2013:

Very nice lens!

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on March 13, 2013:

@anonymous: I agree - thank you.

anonymous on March 12, 2013:

My love of magnets will never die!

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 28, 2013:

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

TACTCI LM on January 28, 2013:

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

azamkhan760 on January 13, 2013:

nice lens and video

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 11, 2013:

@MindPowerProofs1: Thank you for the visit.

MindPowerProofs1 on January 11, 2013:

we love crafts and projects with kids. Thank you

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on January 01, 2013:

@BlogsWriter: Magnets hold such fascination for kids.

BlogsWriter on December 31, 2012:

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

darciefrench lm on December 14, 2012:

My nine year old is fascinated with magnets

Ben Reed (author) from Redcar on December 08, 2012:

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

Doc_Holliday on December 07, 2012:

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

Avi Wolfson from Massachusetts on December 02, 2012:

Great lens!

anonymous on July 02, 2012:

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 (author) from Redcar on June 03, 2012:

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

Kumar P S on May 07, 2012:

Nice lens.

PaulRyan on April 29, 2012:

Magnets are fun at all ages. :)