Magnetic Force
Forces and Motion

Magnetic Cereal

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • Cereal fortified with iron
  • Magnets
  • A bowl
  • A pestle or spoon


  1. Put some of the dry cereal in the bowl and crush it as small as possible with the pestle or spoon.
  2. Put a magnet into the cereal and shake the bowl a little.
  3. Lift the magnet out – some cereal should stick to it. If not, try stronger magnets or other cereal brands. It should work with brands where the iron is present as fine metal particles or ferric oxide, as these are magnetic.

Results and Explanation

The attraction isn’t strong enough to lift large flakes, as each contains only a few magnetic particles. In crushed cereal the magnet just picks up pieces containing magnetic particles – in these each particle has less cereal to lift.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

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