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  • Writer's pictureKate

Activity of the day: Make your own needle compass

This activity was requested after one of the mini people watched a few too many episodes of Annedroids. The compass is technically portable but is spiky (if you use a needle, as we have) so do be careful if taking it on daily exercise expeditions- you don't want to fall onto it!

You will need:

  • A magnet - any magnet at all will do- including ones in bag clasps, fridge magnets- any sort at all.

  • A needle or steel paperclip- the paperclip is obviously the safer option but we couldn't find one....

  • Something lightweight that will float- we've used a piece of cork floor tile, but any bit of flat wood or a small plastic tub lid will work fine

  • A tub or bowl that your floating thing and needle will fit into

  • Water

Hold the needle (or paperclip- but I'm only going to say needle from now on) by one end.

Stroke the needle from your fingers to the end of the needle at least 100 times, only stroking the needle in one direction. This will make the needle into a magnet.

Pour water into your tub and put your floating object into it.

Carefully place the needle onto the floating object.

The needle and floating thing should bob around until one end of the needle points North. You now have a compass: But you will need to work out which end is going South and which North before going on your expeditions!

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