We live in a world that is dominated by electrical and electronic devices, yet how many of us actually understand how electricity works? This experiment is a great way to help your child learn the basics about electricity and electronic circuits, and it follows on from an early experiment we’ve featured called how to make your own battery. In this experiment, you can show your child how to make their very own electrical circuit out of a watch battery, some copper tape, an LED light bulb and a sheet of paper. It’s really very simple, and although younger children might need a little help, it can be done by children as young as five. However, be aware that both the battery and the LED light bulb can be a choking hazard, and watch batteries can be dangerous if swallowed, so appropriate supervision is required at all times. With that in mind, how do you make your own electrical circuit? Well, this video from Fawn Qiu will show you how:
What Will You Need? To do this experiment yourself, you will need the following items:
- A sheet of thick paper.
- A marker pen.
- Some copper tape.
- An LED light bulb.
- A watch battery.
You will most likely already have a suitable sheet of paper and a marker pen, but you may well need to purchase the other items, and links where you can purchase them from can be found at the end of this post.
How Long Will It Take? Making a single simple circuit will only take your child a few minutes, but once they’ve made one, it’s likely that they’ll want to make many more.
What Age Of Child Can Do This Experiment? This experiment is suitable for children aged five and older, but children, especially younger ones, should be supervised at all times because both the battery and the LED light bulb can be a choking hazard, and watch batteries can be dangerous if swallowed.
What Core Life Skills Will It Help Develop? This experiment will help your child develop an understanding of how the world around them works, and specifically of how electricity works. It may also inspire them to learn about how every day objects work and to learn more about engineering. Finally, it provides a nice basis for learning a range of practical life skills associated with the routine maintenance of electrical equipment, such as replacing bulbs and batteries, changing fuses, and jump-starting a car with a flat battery.
Variations: Once your child has made the basic circuit outlined above, then there are many variations on it that they can try. However, probably the most interesting and fun is for your child to make their own light up greetings card, as shown in the video below. While this one features a cupcake, you can use almost any picture on the front of your card.
Once you have made an LED greetings card, you can then ask your child to come up with their own ideas of what they’d like to try to make next. If they can’t come up with their own ideas, then you can ask them if they can work out how to make a sign with their own name on it that will light up in whatever way they want. Finally, you can combine this experiment with the one mentioned above in which your child can make their own battery and let them use their own home-made battery to power a simple circuit that they’ve created.
Links To Purchasing Items You Will Need For This Experiment
About The Author: This post was written by Colin Drysdale, the creator of How To Raise A Happy Genius.
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