Kareena’s chemistry – episode 13: magnets


FunKids radio, in collaboration with the RSC, has produced a set of short chemistry snippets introducing children to chemistry- the what, why and how.

Type of Activity

group work, working independently



Age Group


Kareena learns about magnetism in the context of sticking a magnet on the fridge.


If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, including:
    • Grouping and classifying things.
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others.
  • Compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials.
  • Describe magnets as having two poles.
  • Predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That not all materials are attracted to magnets.
    • That not all metals are attracted to magnets.
  • That only some metals have magnetic properties.

Suggested activity use

This activity provides a useful hook into exploring magnets. Children could listen to the first part of the recording and try to determine why the magnets weren’t sticking to the fridge. They could group and classify materials according to whether they are attracted to magnets or not.

Practical considerations

In order to determine which materials are attracted to magnets, a range of magnets and magnetic and non-magnetic materials will need to be provided.

Further explanation of more advanced vocabulary, such as ‘molecules’, ‘atoms’ and ‘electrons’, may be required.