As a child one of the best things to do on a warm summer night is to stare up at the moon and stars that brighten the vast night sky. For most children the moon is a mystery, where did it come from? Why does it change shape sometimes? Does it stay in the same place? As a parent or teacher it can be overwhelming to answer all of their lunar-based questions.
The magnetic pull between the earth and the moon is especially difficult to explain, but the magnet activity listed below will make an abstract concept more concrete. In honor of Moon Day, use this magnet activity from Ooey Gooey Tooey by Lisa Murphy to help explain some of the moon’s wonder. No matter what age group you’re teaching, Murphy’s Ooey Gooey books provide educational—and fun—hands on activities for children.
Before beginning the activity, quickly review how magnets work and what they are attracted to. Then talk about how the earth is one big magnet that pulls the moon close enough for us to see it every night. For the activity, have the child hypothesize on which objects will be attracted to the magnet and which won’t. Consider the magnet to represent the earth and the magnetic objects to be the moon.
If you like getting your hands dirty for the sake of science, then check out Murphy’s other Ooey Gooey books here.
Source: Murphy, Lisa. “Sensory Tub Activities.” Ooey Gooey Tooey:. Rochester, NY: Ooey Gooey, 2009. 76. Print.