Make a simple toy Valentine with or for your kids.
I used to spend hours in my mom's bedroom playing with two tiny toy dogs that she kept in her dresser. The dogs were Christmas presents from her brother on a year when there hadn't been much in her own girl hood. The toy dogs used to mysteriously float toward each other, joining with a "clink!" They would pull each outer around from opposite sides of a piece of paper. They were amazing!
The dogs' secret was magnetism.
Valentine's Day is coming up next week, and you can use the same principal to make a really fun toy for your kids. This Valentine can be put together in just a few minutes, and is also a fun little science toy for kids, although I confess, I might be found playing with it too!
Materials needed to make your own toy Valentine
Two pieces of paper in complimentary colorsMagnet
Piece of string/yarn
Scissors Glue Hole punch
Put the toy together
Fold each sheet of paper in half, and cut out a half heart.
I chose to do one large and one small.
Glue the magnet onto the larger heart.
Punch a hole in the smaller heart.
Tie a short piece of string through the hole. Glue the paper clip to the back of the small heart.
You could add a message like, "Let's stick together," or "I like to hang out with you." to complete your valentine. Magnetism is a field force, like gravity.
Once the glue is dry, dangle the small heart above the magnet. Swing it back and forth slightly, and watch its behavior.
The science behind the toyThe closer the paper clip comes to the magnet, the stronger the force of the magnet's pull on it. We say that the force varies inversely with the distance. (Actually, the square of the distance, but who is measuring?) As the distance between the magnet and paper clip gets bigger, the force pulling them together gets smaller.
With just a few minutes work you can have a toy your kids are going to love. The magnetism should keep them busy for hours, just like those toy dogs did me.
More Valentine's STEM ideas for you
Lovely Valentine making experiment
Paint with berries
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