DIY Christmas Tree Magnet Maze (Fun Science Game)

Playing magnet maze

STEAM activity for Christmas will allow you to teach physics for kids and they can play the maze game as well.

Magnets are quite magical for young kids and definitely be one of their favorite things to explore and experiment with. Have your kid’s ever explored Christmas science and magnets together or Are you willing to introduce some sensory play activities to your kids!? If so, then you will be amazed learning our post today. Yes, today I am going to explain you a perfect and easy activity that combine both Christmas magnetic science and sensory play. Here we go “Christmas Tree Magnet Maze”.

Playing magnet maze

We will now make a magnet maze game with fun Christmas spin. Yes, maze game on a Christmas tree painting. Hence I call this a STEAM activity STEM + ART.

The physics concept of magnetic force can be taught to kids using this game. The ball can be moved on a specific path using a magnet. Let’s understand how to do it and how it works.

For the first time, we have started this experiment by raising few questions to our kids such as “what is magnetism?” “How the magnet works” etc. I feel in this way, kids may have a thrilling time and experience while exploring and playing with magnets. Hence, we created magnet maze to explain magnetism.

Kids can draw and paint a Christmas tree and also learn magnetism. STEAM activity will let kids use both their left and the right brain. So this is one of the best activities for kids to play, learn and have fun.

How to integrate STEM activities with art to make it STEAM

Suitable For

Both preschoolers and kindergarteners will get benefited from this activity. Also, this activity is a great opportunity for kids aged above 5 years to better understand the science behind the magnetism concept. My elder daughter, Prithika (7 years old) well understood the science behind it because she has explored the activity with many variations and different ideas.

Steps to make the magnet maze game on a Christmas tree drawing

Things required

  • Magnet – Long piece
  • Markers – Stix markers
  • Paper / Paper Plates
  • Some steel object like a small ball or so
  • Geomag magnetic rods and steel balls (preferred but optional)

Things we need
Feel free to use products if available at home or purchase from the links (affiliate – thanks for your support!). 

Reviews of Geomag sets available at

Steps to follow

Step-1: Draw a maze

Here our maze is a Christmas tree. My younger kid is very much excited to draw a Christmas tree on a white paper. She recently started going to drawing classes and hence she wants to shoe her drawing skills. J She used green, yellow, black, brown, and blue color pencils and sketches to draw a beautiful Christmas tree.

We can consider this step as an artistic element of this activity where kids are able to draw and show their designing skills to decorate their Christmas tree. Also, this activity incorporates both science and art together. Incorporating art along with STEM activities encourages kids to actively participate in the STEM activities. Hope you all agree my point!

Step-2: Make a magnet stick

I have made a magnet wand or stick at home using a small magnet, glue and a wooden stick. I placed a small drop of glue on the magnet and then laid a wooden chopstick on top of the glue. I have done this step a night before we start the activity since we need to let it dry completely to avoid the mess because of glue. Now you are ready with the magnetic wand or stick! But if you does not have enough time and need to start the experiment immediately, then you can use hot glue which works best as well. It makes your magic wand ready within few minutes.

kids Playing with magnet

Step-3: Move around the magnet

Place the magnet balls on top of the Christmas tree maze. Now hold the magnet stick under the white paper. Now ask your kids ‘what do they discover or observe?’ We are able to see the magnet ball at the top and magnet stick underneath the paper attract each other. As we move the magnet stick over the paper along the Christmas tree, the magnet ball at the top also moves.

Christmas tree magnet maze go science girls

After they completed the activity, my kids roamed around the home catching the magnet wand in the hand searching for any other magnetic materials in the home. Their discoveries lead to some good conversations about what a magnet is, what polarity is, and what items are magnetic.

We even made it a game by timing the activity between both the girls. 

christmas tree magnet maze

Please Note ...

Make sure your kids do not have a habit of putting things in their mouth. The small balls used in this activity cause a choking hazard. Please monitor the same and be with them.

Also, I suggest you use magnets of large size. We used a long magnet. Magnets should not be let swallowed as they get attracted to the other items if any in the gut and causes a major problem.

So decide yourself and do this activity with caution. 

Here kids will learn the coordination as it is not easy to make it happen in the first attempt. All their senses will be activated to make this happen. First, they need eye and hand coordination to achieve this successfully.

Find more details about seven senses here

 

Kinaesthesia is the most important sense with which kids will know where to move the hands. Also, they will know the amount of force to be applied for pushing the ball on the maze path. Few kids will take a couple more time than others. Do not worry, but it is a good activity.

Gravity is the force that pulls an object towards the center of the earth. This force in general is not visible and only the movement of object will indicate this force. The steel ball on the paper plate is pulled in the direction the magnet moves under the paper.

The magnetic force produced by the magnet is also not visible but the object movement will indicate the effect. The steel ball will move due to the magnetic force as it works through the metal objects. Therefore there are two forces namely gravity and magnetic force. The former force will pull the ball to the floor and the latter force will attract the ball to the magnet. Based on the strength of the magnet, the magnetic force will succeed.

Extension Idea: 

Elder kids can do this in a better way by drawing a Christmas Tree maze based on their imagination. They can print and then paste it on the paper plate. Thereby technology is incorporated in this activity which is yet a STEM pillar subject.

Here is another version of Christmas Tree Magnet Maze created by my younger one.

Playing with a DIY Christmas tree magnet maze fun STEAM activity for kids

Science behind the Magnet Maze

Magnetic field is the most amazing thing about magnets created by a magnetic material and attracts other magnetic materials that produce magnetic fields at a distance invisibly. It seems to be like a magic. This is where magnetism plays major role. The invisible and strange force created by the magnetic fields produced by the magnetic materials is the reason to attract or repel other objects. Because of magnetism, the magnetic stick and the magnetic ball attract each other and stick.

Few facts about magnets

  • Magnets are bipolar, meaning a magnet has two ends called poles i.e. a North Pole and a South Pole.
  • The North Pole of one magnet attracts the South Pole of other magnet and vice versa. That means like poles repel each other and unlike poles attract each other.
  • A magnet produces a strange and invisible area of magnetism all around it called a magnetic field.
  • If you cut a bar magnet, you will get two brand new smaller magnets each with its own north and south poles.
  • If you run or rub a magnet over an nonmagnetic piece of a magnetic material (such as an iron nail) for few minutes, the nonmagnetic piece can convert into a magnet as well. This is called magnetization.

What is magnetism?

In simple terms, magnetism is an electromagnetic force exerted by the magnetic fields that can attract or repel the objects if they have magnetic material like iron inside them. Basically, it refers to the physical phenomenon of magnetic materials which pull closer or repel other objects.

My younger daughter (5 years old) kept pale face after listening the definition of magnetism. Yes, if we say the above mentioned definition directly to our kids, they may keep confused faces. So, we need to explain them through some fun play. Here is what I did to better understand my kids about magnetism.

Introducing your child to magnets

Firstly, I asked my girls to run around the home and get few things or objects they find. I am ready with a bowl to collect the objects they have gathered. After few minutes, my little ones came back to me with some objects and dropped in the bowl I have arranged. I will disclose the things what they have gathered 🙂 i.e. pencil, eraser, a plastic spoon, paper clips, toys etc. Now I handed them a magnet and asked to explore the items they have collected one after other. My little scientists started their research and gave me the end report saying that some objects are attracted to magnet and some are not attracted. Also there is a big question mark on my kids face and also surprised how come some objects are attracted to the magnet. I explained the concept to my kids by sorting out the objects into two sections: magnetic and non-magnetic. My girls really enjoyed this fun play before we start the activity.

Check for additional physics fun experiments here

 

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Design a Christmas tree magnet maze Christmas STEAM activity for kids