Make A Compass

     It's that time of year when we like to get out doors and do some exploring. It's always nice to know which way you are going and a compass will tell you which way is North. This week we are going to make our own compass.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A sewing needle
  • A magnet
  • A small flat cork
  • Tape
  • A glass or plastic bowl
  • Water
      You may want to get some help from an adult on this little experiment because we don't want you poking yourself with the needle or cutting yourself with a knife.
      You need a small cork about 1/2" in diameter and about 1/4" long. It should be flat on both ends.
      Stroke the needle with the magnet going only in one direction. I like to go from the eye end toward the point. Do this for about 30 strokes to set up a good magnetic field on the needle.
      Tape the needle to one side of the cork with a small piece of clear tape.
      Put some water in a bowl and place the cork into the bowl with the needle on top. Keep it away from the edges of the bowl.

      The needle should now turn around and point North and South. Remember which end of the needle points North and you'll always know which way North is.
      You can take this compass with you on camping trips by just putting it in a small plastic container with a lid. Don't put any water into it until you are ready to use it.
      One thing you need to remember is that magnetic items, like your needle, are attracted to metal so if you have a metal object near your needle you will not get a good reading.
      Have fun and enjoy the great outdoors.

Back to Kids Corner Main Page

Our Newsletter
The AllAmerican RunnerDuck Review

Visit our Blog,, and sign up to receive notifications when it is updated. Our newsletter is a monthly blog with woodworking projects, crafts, recipes, and more.

When you get to our blog just enter your email address and click "Sign Me Up".

This is what it looks like: