Hanging Compass

Getting Started

Always use your imagination and be creative when building these kids crafts or science projects. It's your creation, so be inventive when looking for building supplies — you just may be surprised! When building your project, experiment with new and different ways of putting it together. The most important thing is to have fun!

Find these or similar supplies!

  • Magnet, look on the refrigerator
  • Needle or a piece of paper clip
  • Thread or thin string
  • Small paper plate
  • 4 small sticks


1. Magnetize your needle!

Start out by magnetizing your needle. Any object (like a needle or a paperclip) that sticks to your magnet can be magnetized. With your needle laying down on the table, hold one end down firmly. Then place your magnet onto the needle. Remember, the needle wants to jump to the magnet.


2. Slide your magnet...

Always slide the magnet in ONE direction along your needle. While holding your needle down, start sliding the magnet away from the finger that you are using to hold it down. Make sure to apply some pressure to the magnet as you slide it along the needle.


3. Keep sliding...


4. All the way past the end...


5. Lift up your magnet!

Now lift your magnet up and away from the needle. Bring it around and start all over again. All you are really doing is rubbing the needle in one direction.



Repeat step 2 through 5 about 50 times. Yes... that's a lot, but it will insure your needle is properly magnetized. Test to see if your needle is magnetized by touching it to another piece of metal, like another paperclip. If it sticks, then you are ready to make a compass. If not, try magnetizing it again, but rub it more times.


7. Finish your compass!

OK, now its time to make a compass! I punched four small, evenly-spaced holes on my paper plate, flipped it over, and inserted four small sticks. I then taped them together at the top kind of looks like a tepee!

Next, I tied a piece of thread to my needle, and attached the other end to the top of my compass stand so that the needle is hanging just above the base. Then very gently slide the thread back and forth on your needle until it is hanging perfectly level. This may take some time, but it is important that the needle is not touching anything.Try to keep everything very still as you do this. Now it should spin and move towards the NORTH.

VOILÀ! — a hanging compass! There are all kinds of ways to make compasses, so have fun and try experimenting with different supplies and ways of putting it together!10big