Activity: Magnetic puppetry

Turn science into theater with this activity.

You'll Need

  • Several strong magnets
  • pictures of people or animals
  • paper
  • scissors
  • colored markers or crayons
  • transparent tape
  • paperclips
  • shoebox

Turn science into theater for your child with this activity that allows him to investigate magnetic forces. Guide your child through the directions below to create a magnetic puppet show:

  1. Draw and cut out three to five paper figures of people or animals, about three inches tall. Or cutout figures of people from photos or magazines.
  2. Tape a paperclip to the base of each figure, using only a small piece of tape.
  3. Fold the base of the figure so that the paperclip lays flat and the figure stands upright.
  4. Position the shoebox on its side with the open end facing outward.
  5. Place the paper figures on top of the box.
  6. Hold a magnet inside the box, under each figure.
  7. Move the magnet to move the figures!


Guide your child in understanding that magnetic forces pass through, rather than attract, nonmagnetic materials. Paper, a nonmagnetic material, can be held between a magnet and a magnetic material, such as a refrigerator door.

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