Magnet Marble Painting

Magnet Marble Painting


Objective: Children explore the properties of magnets and experiment with magnetic fields.



  • magnets
  • iron shavings in a clear sealed container
  • steel marbles or BB’s
  • paint
  • construction paper
  • shallow box or tray large enough for a piece of construction paper
  • magnetic and nonmagnetic items
  • two large containers for sorting magnetic and nonmagnetic items.



  • Magnets attract objects made with iron, and they have two poles, a north pole and a south pole.
  • The opposite poles of magnets will attract each other, while the like poles will repel. Demonstrate this concept with two magnets
  • Magnets can pull through air, but some can also pull through solids and liquids. Demonstrate this concept by having a magnetic item be attracted through a piece of paper.
  • A magnetic field is the area around the magnet where it can attract or repel things. A magnet will affect a magnetic object only when it enters its magnetic field. Demonstrate by using iron filings in a clear container and hold a magnet underneath.
  • The area near Earth’s geographical North Pole and South Pole are where our planet’s magnetic pulling force is strongest. The earth’s magnetic field protects us from getting too much energy from the sun.


  • Give each child a magnet and have them find magnetic objects around the room.
  • Put various objects in a group have the children guess whether each item is magnetic or not. Test the items with a magnet and place them into the correct container.
  • Paint with magnets:
    • Place construction paper onto a tray or shallow box.
    • Add a few drops of paint (2 colors work nicely).
    • Place a magnetic marble inside the box and move a strong magnet around underneath to “draw” with the marble.
    • Set out to dry.

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