Electricity is all around us, so we tend to take it for granted. It’s a fascinating subject for kids, though, so they’ll love these electricity experiments and activities. You may need to invest in a few simple supplies for some of these activities, but you’ll be able to reuse them year after year. The hands-on experience kids get makes the extra effort worthwhile.
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1. Start with an anchor chart
Static electricity is most kids’ intro to this concept, and it leads nicely into electrical energy and circuitry. These colorful anchor charts help you teach both.
2. Bend water with static electricity
Most static electricity experiments are quick and easy enough for anyone to try at home. This is a great example: charge a comb by rubbing it against your head, then use it to “bend” a stream of water from a faucet.
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3. Separate salt and pepper with a “magic” spoon
This static electricity experiment works because pepper is lighter than salt, which makes it quicker to jump to the electrically charged plastic spoon. So cool!
Learn more: Science Kiddo
4. Move a bubble using a balloon
Balloons are a fun way to teach about static electricity. Combine them with bubbles for a hands-on activity students will really love!
Learn more: Create Play Travel
5. Flap a butterfly’s wings
Speaking of balloons, try using them to help a butterfly flap its tissue paper wings. Little ones’ faces light up when they see the butterfly come to life.
Learn more: I Heart Crafty Things
6. Make jumping goo with static electricity
Kick your static electricity experiments up a notch by mixing a batch of cornstarch “goo,” then making it “jump” towards a balloon. Amazing!
Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
7. Assemble circuits from play dough
When you’re ready to explore electrical energy, start with play dough circuits. You’ll need a battery box and mini LED bulbs, both of which are inexpensive and available on Amazon. Mix up your own batches of insulating and conducting play dough using the info at the link.
Learn more: Science Sparks
8. Construct a classic potato clock
Try a variety of fruits and vegetables (lemons are another popular choice) for these classic electricity experiments. Here’s the clock kit you’ll need.
Learn more: Kidz World
9. Find out if water conducts electricity
We’re always telling kids to get out of the water at the first sign of a lightning storm, so use this demo to help them understand why. You’ll need alligator clip wires, mini LED bulbs, and button cell batteries.
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10. Build a battery from pennies
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me
11. Whip up wizard wands
Lumos! If your kids are fascinated by Harry Potter and the world of magic, they’ll love this electricity project that turns ordinary sticks into light-up wands! Learn how it’s done at the link.
Learn more: Babble Dabble Do
12. Play a DIY steady hand game
Electricity experiments like this one are perfect for exploring the idea of open and closed circuits. Plus, kids will have so much fun playing with them!
Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain
13. Copper plate coins using electricity
We all know electricity lights up a room, and powers phones, computers, and even cars. But what else can it do? This electroplating experiment is a real jaw-dropper.
Learn more: KiwiCo Corner
14. Create an index card flashlight
Learn more: Mystery Science
15. Twirl some homopolar dancers
Learn more: Babble Dabble Do
16. Engineer an electromagnet
Turn an ordinary nail into a magnet with battery and wire. That’s the magic of electromagnets!
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science
Love these electricity experiments and activities? Check out 50 Easy Science Experiments You Can Do With Stuff You Already Have.