Are preschoolers interested in magnets?

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on February 11, 2011

in Centers, Classroom Setup, Magnetic Play, The Value of Play

I would have to answer the question to the title of this post as a big “YES”!

What caught my attention about today’s play with magnets was that the little boy was playing with the magnetic toys on the side of a book shelf….

At first, I thought the entire side of the shelf was magnetic but after looking a little closer, I realized that he had discovered that only the screws were magnetic and was engaged in this most unusual discovery and play…

Other children were playing with the magnetic toys as well in their own way. I often see the children turn the magnetic toys into microphones…

And building tall towers…

But I have to give this little one a hand for the most creative and out of the box idea I have seen so far. Through his play, he was discovering how many magnets can line up before falling down and which side of the magnets will attract and which will repel.

Letting children have time to freely explore their environment can lead to wonderful discoveries and opportunities for learning.

I would have ever thought to integrate the magnetic toys with the screws on the side of the bookshelf – I have learned something new about our learning environment and the ingenuity of the children in this class just by observing.

Bravo!

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