12 Days of Christmas- Activity 12: Homemade Compass

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12 Days of Christmas- Activity 12: Homemade Compass

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa was good to you all today. Did you leave milk and cookies out for him last night? Maybe a couple carrots for the reindeer? Santa has to travel a long way from the North Pole, but do you know how far? Find out which direction the North Pole is in with this homemade compass. Then use it on your nature walk when you hunt for animal tracks.

What you need:

Pie pan
Water
Dishwashing liquid
Magnet
Needle
1/4-inch slice of cork

Instructions:

1. Fill a pie pan with water. Add a small amount of dishwashing liquid.

2. Now you’ll need to magnetize a needle. To do this, use a bar magnet with the north end marked. Scrape the needle across the north end of the magnet, from the eye of the needle to its point. Do this about 15 times. It’s important to scrape the needle in the same direction every time — don’t rub it back and forth on the magnet. You might want to have an adult help you with this.

3. Carefully poke the needle through a small piece of cork. Float the cork in the middle of the pie pan. Like magic, the needle will always point north.

Did you know? The Earth is like a giant magnet, with one end in the North Pole and the other end in the South Pole.

View our other “12 Days of Christmas” activities here:

Activity 11: Examine Snowflakes
Activity 10: Make your own Scented Ornaments
Activity 9: Make your own Animal Prints
Activity 8: Discover Animal Tracks
Activity 7: Ice Crystal Lantern
Activity 6: Mitten Sun Catcher
Activity 5: Make your own Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Activity 4: Star Gazing
Activity 3: Make your own Snow Globe
Activity 2: Make your own Snow Gauge
Activity 1: Have fun with Frozen Bubbles!

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