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Magnetic Kite-Flying

Magnetic fields may be invisible, but they are nevertheless powerful! For kids, however, it can be tough to understand the impact of forces that cannot be seen. With this experiment, your child will get to witness firsthand the real-world results of magnetic pull.

Activity Instructions

Get a piece of paper and cut it in the shape of a kite—about three inches long or so. In one corner of the kite, place a metal paperclip. On the other end, tape a piece of thread, eight inches long or so. Take the other end of the thread, and tape it to whatever table or flat surface you’re working on. Then, have your child take a small magnet and use it to pick up the paperclip. Lift until the full length of the thread is extended. Then, have your child grasp the paper kite between two fingers. Slowly move the magnet away from the paperclip. Your child will react with amazement as the kite “flies” all on its own—and you will have a perfect opening to talk to them about the power of magnetic fields!

Materials

To begin with, you’ll need a flat surface—any table or countertop should be fine. Additionally, you’ll need a pair of scissors, a piece of paper, a piece of thread, and a couple pieces of clear tape. And of course, there is the most important component of all—a good, strong magnet!

Outcome

This experiment provides a fun way for your child to witness magnetism in action while having fun. It helps such invisible forces as magnetic fields to be understandable for kids while peaking their interest about science.