We recently started a magnet unit here and it has proven to be quite fun. And funny.
Funny? How can magnets be funny, you ask?
Funny #1: I tripped across the above book from my collection about a week ago. It seemed like it might be an interesting thing to do with the boys during December. (Keeping them busy, trying to ward off the christmas flu.) Hmmm…Magnets…electricity…sounds perfect! But where in the world will I find a bar magnet to do the experiments? I know what a bar magnet is, but what does one cost? Is it hard to find? Is that something they sell at Walmart? If so, what section do I go to? Would I be better off at Menards or Home Depot? How will this fit into my simple farmish life of really trying hard not to go to the store unless we are absolutely in dire need of something?
“Gosh,” I said to Hubster one evening, and explained my whole dilemma. “Do you know where I could find a bar magnet?”
“Gosh,” he said. “ Maybe in the magnetic-electric-science kit we have on top of the entertainment center?”
Yep, seriously. You’d think I don’t stare at that shelf everyday.
Funny #2: After experiencing the embarrassment and later joy of finding a bar magnet, it turned out the bar magnet was totally lame. El cheapo. In fact, so non-functioning that most of our experiments with it went totally wacky or flat out failed. (How can you screw up a magnet?) So after all that we ended up dragging out our canister of Magnetix to do our experiments – which are surprisingly powerful for being so small. Yep, turn to the magnetic toys instead of the actual magnetic scientific kit.
Funny #3: While doing a little ditty with north and south pole ends of a magnet, we let our minds wander. A lot.
See, our book suggested we strap a bar magnet (or Magnetix, in our case) on top of two different Matchbox cars and see if we could get the cars to pull or push each other on the floor. So we did that.
And after we’d exhausted our fun with that, we brought out the next obvious toy choice: Star Wars Lego Men.
Yep. Call it lack of caffeine or not enough sleep or just going with the flow, but we went all out in Star Wars Lego Men Magnet world.
We wanted the Lego Men to be pushed around by the magnets, and quickly figured out we had to have a magnet on both their stomach and their back, otherwise the Lego Men just tipped over. Too much Space Juice, or something.
Then we figured out this really important guy needed really big magnet guns. So we built them.
We staged awesome battles, most of which weren’t easily caught by camera. The boys thought it was hilarious how they could either get the Lego Men to push each other around, stick to each other, or (if we got really fancy with how we attached the magnets) we could get them to kinda whip each other from one side to the other.
Now that's some funny magnet stuff.
In case you’re wondering, at the end of the battle, the Star Wars Lego Men ended up getting sucked into the Magnetix Cave.
One managed to escape, but the other was pinned under falling…magnets.
“Save yourself!” he said. “ Go…save yourself…”
My kids really got into it. They were very dramatic. And funny. And I’m pretty sure they will never forget north and south poles of magnets. :)