Inspiring Compass Crafts to Ignite Young Explorers

Inspiring Compass Crafts to Ignite Young Explorers

Compasses have guided explorers, adventurers, and curious minds for centuries. These simple yet fascinating tools allow us to find our way, understand direction, and connect with the Earth’s magnetic field. In this article, we shall dive into exciting compass crafts that ignite curiosity, teach science, and spark a love for exploration in children.

From making their own compasses to creating paper plate roses, young explorers can learn about magnetism, directionality, and the wonders of our planet through hands-on crafts. So grab a compass and embark on an adventure—it’s time to explore! These engaging activities will inspire children’s curiosity about the world around them. Let’s begin the journey.

Make Your Own Compass With Kids

Materials Needed:

A needle, pin, or other sharp object (ensure it’s smooth and not sharp enough to harm), a piece of paper, scissors (optional), and a strong magnet.


Magnetise the Needle:

Stroke the needle along the surface of a strong magnet about 60 times in the same direction. This process magnetises the needle, allowing it to point north.

Create the Compass Base:

Fold a square piece of paper diagonally to form a triangle. Repeat this step for all four corners, ensuring both sides are symmetrical.

Assemble the Compass:

Roll two additional triangles from another piece of paper to form tubes. These tubes will become the arms of your compass. Roll another tube for the centre section of your compass paddle. Use tape or glue to reinforce the centre tube.

Place the Needle:

Lay the needle on the rim of a plastic bottle cap. Float the entire assembly in a bowl of water. Observe how the needle aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field, pointing north.

Discuss how compasses work by detecting the Earth’s magnetic field. Explain that the end of the needle marked in red always points north. Compasses allow us to navigate and explore, but they must be used carefully.

Compass crafts teach children scientific principles like magnetism in an engaging, hands-on way. Making their own compass ignites curiosity about navigation and how we find direction. This simple yet fascinating craft allows children to connect with a tool that has guided explorers for centuries.

Fun Paper Plate Compass Craft

This craft teaches kids about compass directions in a fun, hands-on way.

Draw the Compass Rose

Have your child draw a compass rose – the circular diagram showing the cardinal directions north (N), south (S), east (E) and west (W) – on a paper plate. They can decorate the rose using blue and white paint to represent the sky and sea.

Create the Compass Needle

Next, have them cut out an arrow shape from red or yellow construction paper to use as the compass needle. Attach the needle to the centre of the compass rose so it can spin freely.

Explore Directions

Now the craft is ready to help explore directions! Have your child spin the paper plate and observe how the needle points north. Discuss how compasses are important tools for navigation and finding your way.

Compasses have guided explorers for centuries by harnessing the power of the Earth’s magnetic field. This simple craft teaches kids about magnetism and direction in a fun, hands-on way. By making their own compass rose and needle, children gain an understanding of how compasses work to point north.

Spinning the craft and seeing the needle orient itself gives kids a sense of wonder at this invisible force. The paper plate compass craft sparks curiosity about the natural world and how people have used science and ingenuity to explore it.

Your little explorers will have fun following where the compass needle points. Give them maps and have them practise navigating to different locations. This craft could start a lifetime of adventures! By understanding directions and navigation at an early age, children gain confidence to explore the world.

Build a Balloon-Powered Compass Car

To construct a balloon-powered compass car, you will need four balloons, a flat piece of cardboard, scissors, and tape.

Prepare the Base

Cut slits in the cardboard to allow the balloons to fit through. Inflate the balloons halfway and secure them in the slits with tape. The balloons should be equidistant from each other for optimal movement.

Balloon Power

To propel the car, blow into the balloons. The escaping air will move the car in the opposite direction. For example, blowing into the front balloons will move the car backward, while inflating the left balloons will turn the car to the right.

Observe how the balloon placement affects the car’s direction and speed. Discuss how the volume and force of air blown into each balloon impacts navigation. Relate this to how explorers use wind and sails to steer ships.

This craft teaches children about using air power for propulsion and steering. As they experiment by blowing into different balloon combinations, they will gain an intuitive understanding of how sails and rudders guide the direction of travel. Building their own balloon-powered cars ignites a sense of wonder at how such a simple mechanism can be used for exploration.

With some guidance, children can problem-solve to improve the design and performance of their compass cars. They may want to add sails, rudders, or a sturdier chassis. Encourage them to test and modify their designs. Through trial-and-error, kids develop resilience and come to see failure as an opportunity to learn.

Compass crafts engage children’s curiosity about science and navigation. A balloon-powered car, in particular, demonstrates how the flow of air can be harnessed for propulsion. By empowering kids to build their own vehicles, we nurture their natural inclination to explore the world.

More Exciting Compass Craft Ideas

Make a Compass Sundial

A sundial uses the sun’s shadow to tell the time of day. Children can create their own sundial using a compass and basic craft supplies. They will need a circular base, such as a plastic lid or cardboard circle, a compass, tack or nail, string or yarn, and a pencil.

To assemble, place the compass in the centre of the base. Attach the tack in the middle of the compass, then tie the string to the tack. The string should be long enough to cast a shadow onto the edge of the base. Have children use the pencil to mark the points of the compass around the edge of the base.

Place the sundial outside in direct sunlight. The shadow cast by the string will point to the appropriate compass direction, indicating the time of day. This craft teaches children about sundials, compasses, directions and the relationship between the sun and the telling of time.

Make Compass Stampers

Children can create their own compass-themed stampers using basic craft supplies like cardboard, paint and corks. Have them cut arrow shapes from cardboard to represent the cardinal directions. Attach the arrow shapes to corks, then decorate the corks to look like compasses.

Once dry, the compass stampers can be used to stamp patterns, pictures and compass roses onto paper or fabric. Children will have fun creating their own designs while reinforcing their knowledge of directions and compass points.

Build a Compass and Magnet Maze

This craft challenges children to navigate a maze using compasses and magnets. You will need a shallow box, cardboard, tape, compasses, magnets and metal objects like paper clips, nuts and bolts.

Construct a simple maze in the bottom of the box using cardboard strips. Place the metal objects throughout the maze. Have children place a compass and magnet onto a flat surface, then tilt and move the box to guide the magnet through the maze toward the metal objects. The compass indicates which direction the magnet is facing.

This craft teaches problem-solving skills and reinforces how compasses and magnets work together. Children will delight in navigating the maze and discovering the metal objects hidden inside.

In conclusion, compass crafts allow children to explore scientific concepts in an engaging, hands-on manner. Whether they are telling time with a sundial, creating stampers or navigating a magnet maze, kids will gain a deeper understanding of compasses, directions and magnetism while exercising their creativity.

Compass Craft FAQs: Your Most Common Questions Answered

How long do compass crafts take?

The time required for each compass craft will depend on the age and experience level of the children. Simple crafts like the paper plate compass can be completed in 30-45 minutes, while more complex builds like the balloon-powered car may take 1-2 hours. With guidance, even young kids can successfully create these crafts. The key is to go slowly, be patient, and have fun while learning.

How do these crafts teach kids about science?

Compass crafts teach children scientific principles like magnetism, polarity, and navigation in an engaging hands-on way. As they create their own compasses and observe how the needle aligns with the Earth’s magnetic north, kids discover how magnets work. Building a balloon-powered car shows how propulsion and motion are related. These crafts ignite curiosity about the natural world.

Grow experimental brain ability

As children explore and experiment with compass crafts, their imaginations soar. Their discoveries fuel wonder about how the world works and inspire questions that lead to further learning. Encourage your little ones to observe closely and think critically as they create. Then help them put their discoveries into words to deepen their understanding.

Remember, the goal is not perfection but the process. Messy crafts, wrong turns in mazes and crooked stampers are all part of the fun. Celebrate each child’s creativity, effort and sense of adventure. Compass crafts are a wonderful way to spark excitement for science in young minds and hearts.

So gather your supplies, unleash those curious minds, and get creating! The possibilities for discovery through these simple compass crafts are endless. Have fun inspiring the next generation of explorers.

What supplies do I need?

The supplies for compass crafts are simple and kid-friendly. You will need basic items like paper plates, balloons, tape, scissors, and markers. For the compass, you will need a needle, cork, and bowl of water. Most of the materials can be found around the home or purchased inexpensively. The key is providing close supervision, especially for younger kids, to ensure proper use of any sharp tools.

How can I extend the learning?

To extend the learning from compass crafts, you can have children map their neighbourhood or a local park. Ask them to identify directions and landmarks to build navigational skills. You can also have kids build obstacle courses to navigate using their compasses. Another idea is to do compass-based scavenger hunts. Kids can use compasses to locate hidden objects. These types of activities reinforce what they learned while keeping them engaged.

Compass crafts spark curiosity about navigation, science, and the natural world. By answering common questions, we hope to inspire you to embark on hands-on adventures with the children in your life. Exploring compass crafts together can lead to a lifetime of learning and discovery. Let us know if you have any other questions!