Magnetic Ice Science

Ice Magnet (2)

This easy game is such a neat winter-time twist on magnet play!

To prepare, simply place small magnetic items in the compartments of an ice tray, and cover with water. Think small pieces of pipe cleaner, paper clips, metal rings, and similar small items. Freeze overnight.

Ice Magnet (1)

The next morning, I popped the ice cubes out into a baking dish, and invited Travis to see if he could pick up the frozen ice cubes with strong magnets from our magnet set.

Ice Magnet (3)

The results turned out to be so interesting, and lasted us the better part of a half hour! A few items, where the metal poked through the ice already, worked right away. The paper clips were remarkably strong even through a layer of ice.

Ice Magnet (4)

Travis loved discovering what would stick to his magnet already and what needed a wait, for the ice to melt somewhat.

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For some additional fun – under close supervision! – prop the baking dish between two stools and run your magnet wands underneath; Travis loved watching the magnets slide as if by magic from his wand under the tray.

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As we played, it became clear that the pipe cleaners were the real puzzle. The slightest bit of water was enough to get in the way of the thin metal strip inside the fuzzy layer.

Travis was the one who suggested we chisel away at our ice cubes to get to them – the perfect idea!

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We really had to work for that pipe cleaner; the pieces wouldn’t stick to our wand until only the tiniest shards of ice remained.

Ice Magnet (10)

Success at last! Overall, great icy and scientific fun, and Travis enjoyed playing with the magnetic items and wands even once the ice had melted.

Ice Magnet (11)

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