Make A Compass
Teach young people how to make their own compass. This craft is illustrated with annimated instructions on Things2Make.
A bowl of water
Magnetise the needle by stroking it (Say 40 times) in one direction with the same side of a magnet each time.
Place the needle on a small leaf (Or piece of tissue paper) and gently put on the surface of the water. If you use tissue paper it should soak up the water and sink leaving the needle on the surface!
The needle will slowly turn to point North-South. You can also magnetise the needle by stroking it with silk in the same direction or by aligning it in a pre known north south direction and gently tapping it with a hammer on one end. If you are using it to get home, be careful, the pointy end of the needle may actually point South it depends which way you stroke it and with what end of the magnet is used.
The four main points of a compass can easily be remembered by the term:
Never Eat Shreaded Wheat (Placed clockwise)
This project reprinted courtesy of Things2Make.
This fun animated website has great graphics and animated directions for their projects that are listed alphabetically in two categories: Under 6 and Over 6.