24 Shockingly Fun Electricity Experiments and Activities for Kids

Play dough circuits, LED magic wands, and more!

examples of electricity experiments
We Are Teachers/Teach Beside Me/Science Buddies

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 for multiple activities, and year after year. The hands-on experience kids get makes the extra effort worthwhile.

Electricity Experiments Anchor Charts
What I Have Learned Teaching/Miller’s Science Space

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.

Get tutorial: Anchor chart about electricity and electricity anchor chart

balloon held up to a stream of water for an electricity experiment
Frugal Fun 4 Boys

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.

Get tutorial: Water balloon experiment

spoon by salt and pepper for an electricity experiment
YouTube

3. Separate salt and pepper using 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!

Get tutorial: Salt and pepper experiment

child looking at a bubble on the counter with a balloon for an electricity experiment
Create Play Travel

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!

Get tutorial: Bubble experiment

a balloon near a craft butterfly for an electricity experiment
I Heart Crafty Things

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.

Get tutorial: Butterfly wing experiment

balloon next to goo for an electricity expriment
Frugal Fun 4 Boys

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!

Get tutorial: Jumping goo experiment

play dough heart with wires made into a circuit
Science Sparks

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 lights. Mix up your own batches of insulating and conducting play dough using the info at the link.

Get tutorial: Play dough circuit experiment

Buy it: Battery box, under $7 at Amazon and clear LED lights, under $7 at Amazon

potato clock experiment kit
Amazon

8. Create a classic potato cock

A potato clock is an impressive way to kick off or end a unit on electricity. Your students will never look at potatoes the same way again.

Buy it: Potato clock experiment kit, under $17 at Amazon

cup of water and two electrical circuits for water electricity experiment
Rookie Parenting

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.

Get tutorial: Water electricity experiment

Buy it: alligator clip wires, less than $6 at Amazon, mini LED bulbs, less than $7 at Amazon, and button cell batteries, less than $9 at Amazon.

wands with lit tops of green, blue red and white for an electricity experiment
Babble Dabble Do

10. 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.

Get tutorial: Wizard wand project

example of a steady hand game you can make with wires and blocks
Left Brain Craft Brain

11. 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!

Get tutorial: Steady hand game

a hand holding copper penny above water with wires going into the wire
KiwiCo

12. 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. 

Get tutorial: Copper plate coins experiment

index card flashlight for an electricity experiment
KSAT

13. Create an index card flashlight

This DIY flashlight really turns on and off! It only takes index cards, aluminum foil, mini LED bulbs, an button cell batteries.

Get tutorial: Index card flashlight

Buy it: mini LED bulbs, less than $7 at Amazon, and button cell batteries, less than $9 at Amazon

batteries with wires that look like dancers
Babble Dabble Do

14. Twirl some homopolar dancers

These sweet little twirling dancers are a fantastic demonstration of a homopolar motor. In addition to basic AA batteries, you’ll need neodymium magnets and copper wire.

Get tutorial: Homopolar dancers

Buy it: neodymium magnets, less than $13 at Amazon, and copper wire, less than $6 at Amazon

lumps of play dough to conduct electricity in an electricity experiment
Science Sparks

15. Build multiple circuits

Create more then one circuit. Use play dough to create a series. The positive leg of the LED is near the battery terminal. Since the battery can only push the electricity one way, you can create a circuit of two or more create a larger circuit.

Get tutorial: Series circuit experiment

coins stacked in a tower with an l e d light
Science Buddies

16. Make a coin battery

Use a stack of coins (the more coins you use the more electricity is produced) to make a battery.

Get tutorial: coin battery

battery with copper wire wrapped around a nail for an electricity experiment
Science Learn

17. Make an electromagnet

Make an electromagnet, or a magnet that uses an electric field, by wrapping wire around an iron nail and running current through the wire. An electric field is created around the nail and, sometimes, the nail will stay magnetized even when the coil is removed.

Get tutorial: electromagnet project

pencil resister with red and green alligator clips
Science Buddies

18. Create a pencil resister

Learn about how resisters control the amount of electricity that flows through a circuit. Use pencils (a great way to use those old stubby pencils that are sharpened at both ends) as part of the circuit and watch the brightness of the build change when the resistance in the circuit changes.

Get tutorial: pencil resister project

Buy it: AA batteries for less than $12 at Amazon, battery holder for less than $4 at Amazon, small led light bulbs for less than $5 at Amazon, alligator clips for less than $6 at Amazon.

household objects on a tray, key, cork, paper, paperclip for an electricity experiment
Carrots are Orange

19. Find out what conducts electricity

Figure out what objects are made of material that conducts or does not conduct electricity. Collect common objects, like a key, chalk, wood, candle. Then, test each object by putting it between a battery and a lightbulb and touching foil to the base of the bulb. If the bulb lights up, the object conducts electricity.

Get tutorial: What conducts electricity? Experiment

Buy it: AA batteries for less than $12 at Amazon, small led light bulbs for less than $5 at Amazon.

spiral of black paint on paper for electricity experiment
Science Buddies

20. Create electric paint

Use electric paint to create a circuit and light up a painting with batteries and LEDs. You will need a multimeter for this project (here’s how to use a multimeter).

Get tutorial: electric paint project

Buy it: multimeter for less than $13 at Amazon, electric paint for less than $12 at Amazon, 9 volt batteries for less than $13 at Amazon, small led light bulbs for less than $5 at Amazon, alligator clips for less than $6 at Amazon.

battery in a copper coil
Frugal Fun 4 Boys

21. Create an electromagnetic train

Show the connection between electricity and magnetism by creating a train with a battery and some neodymium magnets. One note: this is a project for older students who have close adult supervision as neodymium magnets are very strong.

Get tutorial: electromagnetic train project.

Buy it: neodymium magnets for less than $10 at Amazon.

materials to make a soda can electroscope tin foil scissors soda can
Fizzics Education

22. Create an electroscope with a soda can

An electroscope detects the presence of an electronic charge. Create a basic but effective electroscope with a soda can, insulation tape, aluminum foil, and a Styrofoam cup. Put it near various surfaces and see what happens.

Get tutorial: soda can electroscope.

dirt with nails in it for a dirt battery
Teach Beside Me

23. Turn dirt into a battery

Electricity can conduct even in dirt. Create a dirt battery with galvanized steel screws (very important), an ice cube tray, copper wires and soil. Make it more interesting by putting lemon juice or vinegar in the dirt.

Get tutorial: dirt battery.

Buy it: copper wire for less than $17 at Amazon, galvanized screws for less than $8 at Amazon.

lemon with coins in it to create a lemon battery
Fizzics Education

24. Lemon battery

Use a lemon to create a battery with coins, and a multimeter. A great way to show students how literally anything can be a conductor of electricity.

Get tutorial: lemon battery.

Buy it: multimeter for less than $13 at Amazon.

Love these electricity experiments and activities? Check out 50 Easy Science Experiments You Can Do With Stuff You Already Have.

Read more: Turn Muggles into Wizards with Harry Potter Science Experiments