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Handy tool for the young scientist!
This large horseshoe magnet holds so many opportunities for exploration and experimentation! Children love to learn about magnetism - testing various objects to see if they are 'magnetic' or even holding two magnets together to compare the sensations of opposite poles 'attracting' and two of the same poles 'repelling'.
There are so many ways this tool could be used but to get you started the Montessori Child magnet comes with a bit of extra inspiration. You will receive two large printed labels reading 'magnetic' and 'non-magnetic' to help with sorting activities (please see our gallery images for an example of how this activity can be arranged). You will also receive a series of small printed labels, also reading 'magnetic' and 'non-magnetic', so that your child can progress to testing objects found around the home (or classroom) and labelling them. These labels not only help to inspire and guide some scientific learning experiences but also help to highlight the relation between interesting concepts and written words. You may be amazed by how quickly children start to independently recognise the words on the labels!
The horseshoe magnet is approximately 21cm tall and is inscribed with the letters "N" for "North" and "S" for "South" indicating the various 'magnetic poles' on either arm of the magnet. In my classroom I like to have two of these horseshoe magnets available - partly because they are so popular and frequently used but also because have two allows children to more clearly understand this concept of opposite poles attracting as they can line up the "N" on one magnet with the "S" on the other (or line up "N" and "N" or "S" and "S" to feel them repelling!).
The outer casing is strong and durable. I have used the same type of magnet in my own Montessori classroom and despite being enthusiastically used by many children over the past few years it is has not cracked or become damaged in any way. This is particularly important for me when using magnets with very young children - small, loose magnets can be a choking hazard (or can be swallowed, potentially causing internal obstructions if several are swallowed and connect together) so I find it very reassuring knowing that this magnet's casing is strong enough that I have never seen a magnet come loose from it and it is also large enough that the magnetic pieces within are too large to be swallowed. This differs from smaller, cheaper horseshoe magnets which may come apart and let small magnets come loose.