Common Uses of Magnets: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Michelle Jones

Michelle has taught at the elementary level and has earned a master's degree.

Magnets are in many things we use everyday. They are all around us and sometimes we can't even see them. This lesson describes some common uses of magnets.

Life Without Magnets

Imagine you come home from school one day and you can't wait to show your parents the A you got on your math test. As you walk into the kitchen, you stop dead in your tracks. All of the cabinet doors are open. Even the refrigerator door! You push the refrigerator door closed and it pops right back open. When you try to hang your math test on the front of it, the paper just slides down to the floor.

Then you try to warm up some spaghetti in the microwave, but it isn't working. When you turn on the TV, you get nothing but a blank screen. As you look around the house, you realize none of the lights are working either. What could be causing all of these weird things to be happening?

This is just a part of what our lives would be like without magnets. A magnet is a piece of metal made out of iron or steel that attracts certain other metals. They are in so many things that sometimes we don't even realize we're using them! Let's explore some of the ways we use magnets every day.

Holding Things Together

Magnets attract, or pull, certain metals and can hold things in place. Think of how many times your parents used a magnet to hang a piece of artwork or schoolwork on the refrigerator. Some purses or camera cases, and even some cabinet doors have magnets to keep them closed. Your refrigerator door most likely uses a magnet to keep it from hanging open.

Magnets on the backs of these letters allow them to stick to the refrigerator.
Picture of magnetic letters on a refrigerator

Have you ever noticed that the bottom of the shower curtain liner sticks to the tub? Well, there are magnets inside the shower liner that make it do just that. This is very useful because it keeps the water inside the tub instead of all over the floor!

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