The idea is simple. Cut up some pipe cleaners and put them in a clean plastic bottle. Glue the lid in place, and allow your toddler to move the pipe cleaners around with a magnet because the pipe cleaners are magnetic.
I couldn't find many nearly-empty plastic containers in our house. We'd purchased a half gallon of milk from the convenience store one night for cooking, and it's just sat in the fridge since then (Oliver drinks organic milk to avoid growth hormones). I dumped out the remainder of the milk we weren't using and rinsed it out well.
My husband came by and was interested in what I was doing, so I let him finish the project. He even glued a strong magnet to the end of a popsicle stick. He handed it all to Oliver and showed him how it worked:
Unfortunately, the milk jug ended up being too opaque. The plastic was also very thick and didn't allow the magnet to work well. Oliver ended up just walking around with his magnet stick, testing it on all the surfaces in the kitchen.
We tried to get him interested in the bottle, but to no avail. In fact, the bottle just ended up pissing him off because the lid was glued on.
We had a $10 voucher to the grocery store that expired today, so we decided to go pick up a few items we needed. We purchased a bottle of Naked juice, too, because the bottle was very clear. We took it home, drank all the juice, and remade the project. Andrew twisted the pipe cleaner pieces into rings this time to give them more surface area.
The changes worked! Oliver enjoyed the toy for all of one minute and then announced he was "all done."
I hate to just get rid of the toy, since Andrew worked so hard on it. I decided to stow it away. Maybe when Oliver is older, he'll enjoy it more. I'm grading these activities based on younger toddlers. So, this activity gets a D. While the magnet was OK, he just wasn't interested in playing with the bottle of pipe cleaners.