Magic Magnets


When I think of the word magnet, the decorative ones on my refrigerator come to mind first. There are much more to magnets than displaying your favorite work or important reminders on the fridge, however. Some birds and bats such as the homing pigeon and brown bat use magnetism to know their location. They can get back home even after being hundreds of miles away using the Earth’s magnetic field. That’s right, Earth has a magnetic field too!

Did you know that magnets have the ability to make things move without them even touching? Every magnet has two poles, a north pole, and a south pole. Ever heard the saying “opposites attract?” This is certainly true in the magnetic world as the north pole of one magnet will attract the south pole of another. Likewise, the north pole of a magnet will repel the north pole of another. When magnets attract, they pull towards each other and when they repel, they push each other away. This attraction and repulsion allow magnets to make things move!

The Experiment

Use the “magic” force of a magnet to make your slime come alive. First, you will have the opportunity to create your very own magnetic slime. Then you can entertain yourself for hours experimenting with the magnificent magic of magnets.


1/2 cup liquid starch

liquid starch bottle


Glue bottle

2 tablespoons Iron Oxide Powder

Iron oxide powder

One mixing bowl


One craft stick

craft stick

Neodymium magnets


Wax paper or newspaper to protect your work space

Wax paper on a roll

2 gloves to keep your hands clean

disposable gloves

Prepare your workspace. Choose the table or countertop you wish to make your slime on. Place the wax paper or newspaper down to protect the surface.


Put your gloves on. This will keep your hands from discoloring during the mixing process but you do not have to wear them for safety.


Pour the liquid starch in the mixing bowl.


Add the iron oxide powder to the liquid starch and stir with the craft stick until well blended.


Add the glue to the mixture and stir, stir, stir. Keep stirring!


Once the slime is well mixed, you may pick it up out of the bowl and continue mixing it with your hands. Keep mixing and squishing the slime for a couple of minutes. There will be some liquid left in the bowl and that is fine. If your slime is really wet, use a paper towel to help absorb the moisture. Once your slime is formed, it will no longer change the color of your hands. You may throw your gloves away.


Use your magnet to explore the different things you can make your slime do. Have fun playing and experimenting! Gloves are not needed for this part.


Store your slime in the provided bag to keep it from drying out or collecting dust.


Repeat steps 7 and 8 over and over again.

Dinner Talk

Talk with your family, siblings, friends, etc about this experiment.

  • What was the coolest part of the experiment? Why?
  • Which ingredient in your slime is responsible for making it attract to the magnet?
  • Explain how the magnet allows the slime
    to move.
Extra Enrichment

Use the magnet to explore various objects and whether or not they are attracted to a magnet. Find at least two objects that are and two objects that aren’t.
Write about it using this sentence starter: today I turned into magnetic slime and…

This Grab and Go is brought to you by
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This work is supported by the CYFAR grant no. 2017-46100-27224, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy.