The Is it Magnetic? Game Board provides a fine motor exercise and a scientific learning experience through an early exploration of magnetism.
A small 'pen', with a magnet in the tip, is used to test various common materials that are within the perspex containers embedded in the board. The materials include leather, fabric, EVA, glass, a magnet, plastic, wood, stone and iron. The object of the game is to determine which of these materials are magnetic and which are 'non-magnetic'.
The wooden board measures approximately 28cm x 28cm.
It is made of European beech plywood from sustainable sources.
The manufacturer recommends it for ages 3+
With the assistance of an adult, or for an older child who is reading, the Is It Magnetic? game can be used to introduce or reinforce the names of each material. It can also be an opportunity to present vocabulary related to magnetism, such as the idea of some materials being 'attracted' to the 'magnetism'. Linking these words to a sensory-motor experience may help a child to better recall and relate this language.
This pen can be carefully tucked into a little pocket along the side of the board to keep the entire activity self-contained.
The use of the pen can help to encourage the development of a pincer grip. The lines and curves of the various mazes can also be seen as indirect preparation for the movements involved in writing numerals and letters.
In my own classroom this Is it Magnetic? Game Board is enjoyed primarily by children aged 3 or 4 years. At this stage they enjoy the fine motor manipulation of the pen but also comprehend the scientific concept of magnetism and enjoy engaging in discussion with peers (or a teacher) about their observations of the experiment (such as brainstorming why certain materials are magnetic and others are not, and identifying common attributes shared by the materials).
Younger children also quite enjoy working with it but they tend to engage in quicker attempts rather than comprehensive completion. They might tap at the various circles but not necessarily test every one or draw concrete conclusions about magnetism.
For older children, 4 years of age and above, this can be an enjoyable remedial or relaxation activity, or it can be linked to other explorations of magnetism in order to extend the child's learning. One example of this is the use of a corresponding data sheet to record the results of the observation. In my own classroom we created this sheet to allow children to perform their experiment and then record and share their findings. We also introduce the vocabulary around 'peer review' and 'replication' - explaining that another child can do the experiment too and then compare results to check whether we always get the same outcomes (strong evidence!) or if there are differences that prompt us to check our methods again!
Children who enjoy the Is it Magnetic? Game Board might also love our
1-5 Magnetic Maze