Magnet Muffin Tray

By: Ms. Tiffany

What sticks to a magnet and what doesn’t? This shelf work can help your little one explore the wondrous properties of items that are magnetic.

This work can live on a shelf for your child to do independently!

Your child will experiment to

  • Know what a magnet does
  • Identify what is magnetic vs non-magnetic
  • Experiment and explore different types of magnetic items


  • Muffin tin or any tray with compartments
  • Magnet
  • 6 different magnetic and non-magnetic items
  • string/ ribbon

Making the work

  • If muffin tin has hole at the end, attach magnet with string/ribbon
  • Place each item in muffin tin cup (paper clips, marbles, legos, pins, hair clips, etc.)


  • Explain and demonstrate what magnetic means and why some items are magnetic and why some are not. Some things around us in our house are made of metal.  Metal is hard and can be found on the fridge or the stove.  If a magnet touches metal, it sticks.  If a magnet touches something that is not metal, it will not stick.
  • Give the child a magnet and a magnetic item and non-magnetic item to explore with
  • Introduce the muffin tray premade OR get your child involved and have them make their own tray allowing them to search for items to put in it

*Be mindful with small items that may present a choking hazard*

Add challenges

  • Have your child create a list of items that are magnetic around the house
  • Make a MAGNETIC/NON-MAGNETIC mat out of paper that your child can use to sort items