The idea for this activity came from the The Wonder Years. I just found this blog last night, and I LOVE it. It is full of wonderful and creative Montessori activities!
This morning O was sitting on the couch playing with her magnetic fishing puzzle. I played with her, and when we were finished I asked her if she'd like to do an activity about magnets. She enthusiastically responded "yes!" I gathered 4 magnetic objects and 4 nonmagnetic objects and put them in a basket. I then demonstrated to her that the fishing pole would pick up the magnetic objects, and we put them in a container. We talked about how we had to use our fingers to pick up the nonmagnetic objects, and we put them in another container. We also talked about which kinds of materials are magnetic and which kinds are not. She really enjoyed this work, and I think it will be a popular activity on her shelf. Thanks to The Wonder Years for the inspiration!