A thematic approach to forces, magnets and electricity 3-7

Dan Davies, Christopher Collier

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This chapter examines the main concept areas of forces, magnets and electricity from age 3-7. Forces, magnets and electricity are areas of children’s experience of the world that can appear quite alien to many Early Years practitioners, for three reasons. The chapter highlights the ways in which designing and making moving toys using construction kits and other media can enable children to apply their understanding of forces, magnets and electricity in practical ways. It explores ways of challenging children’s ideas and moving their thinking forward through intervening in their play, and provides several examples of sustained shared thinking in relation to forces and magnets. A child playing with toy railway carriages with magnetic couplings will quickly discover that they ‘magically’ lock together when turned one way around, while pushing each other apart when reversed. The curriculum documents make reference to children’s experience of using and creating technology, much of which makes extensive use of forces, magnets or electricity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching Science and Technology in the Early Years (3-7)
Place of PublicationLondon, U. K.
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429876769
ISBN (Print)9781138613034
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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