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Magnet Experiment

Make leaves or other shapes float with this fun and easy magnet experiment for kids! Using only a paper clip, some string and a magnet, kids will love trying this science experiment!

RELATED: Grow a rainbow experiment

Magnet Experiment for Kids

In this experiment, you’ll use the power of a magnet to a get a leaf, butterfly or another shape to float in the air! Make the leaves look like they are falling from trees. You can even test this out with just a paper clip!

Magnet Experiment for Kids

And you don’t have to only do leaves – you can do butterflies, a ghost, a rocket ship and more!

Floating Butterfly Magnet Experiment

We adapted this idea from an activity from Super Simple Science Experiments.

For more simple science experiments, also see our rain cloud in a jar, walking water, dancing corn, grow a rainbow, and oil and water experiments!

Supplies Needed to do a Floating Magnet Experiment

  • Small paper clip
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue stick
  • Tape
  • Thin string

Note: your magnet must be strong enough to hold up the paper clip without it immediately falling. We find it works best using a strong magnet wand. It also takes a little bit of practice to find the right spot, see our tips below.

Floating Leaf Experiment

Watch the Video Tutorial Here!

Magnet Paper Clip Experiment

What is the Science?

The leaves float due to the magnetic attraction of the paper clip and magnet. The paper clip and tissue paper shape is very light, so the force of the magnetic pull is stronger than the force of gravity which would pull the shape to the ground.

How to do the Floating Magnet Experiment

1. Cut out the tissue paper shape.

You will need 2 tissue paper shapes.

You can make your own or you can use our free leaf templates. Get the leaf templates at the bottom of the post.

We also have a butterfly template.

You also need a paper clip. We matched the leaf colors to the paper clip, but any colored paper clip will work.

Cut out leaves from tissue paper

2. Tie a thin string around the paper clip.

You can also use a piece of clear fishing line.

Trim the string so it is approximately 12 inches long. You can make it any height, however the shorter the better.

Place string and paper clip

3. Glue the other tissue paper shape on top of the bottom shape.

Gently glue around the bottom tissue paper leaf with a glue stick. Because tissue paper is fragile, be careful with this step or you may rip the tissue paper.

Glue tissue paper on top
Glue tissue paper on both
Butterfly template for floating butterfly

4. Tape the string down to the table.

Tape down to table

Now kids can hold the magnet wand on top of the leaf and get it to float! See how long you can get the leaf or butterfly to float for.


To get the shape to float initially, start by holding the leaf up in the air and then bring the magnet wand towards it. Slowly pull the magnet wand away and see how long you can keep it floating!

Floating Leaf Science Experiment
Floating Butterfly Experiment

Be sure to check out our kids craft books also. See our craft for kids books!

More Science Experiments


Grow a Rainbow Experiment

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How to Make Oobleck

Oil and Water Experiment

Oil and Water Experiment

Rain Cloud in a Jar

Rain Cloud in a Jar

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2 comments on “Magnet Experiment”

  1. Do you have a video showing how to get the leaf to float initially? I’m having trouble getting this to work.

    1. Are you using a magnet wand? Those seem to be the strongest and work the best. Bring it to the magnet first, then slowly pull away.

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