Play dough circuits, LED magic wands, and more!

Examples of electricity experiments including making batteries out of dirt and creating a pencil resister.
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 year after year. The hands-on experience kids will get makes the extra effort worthwhile.

Electricity Experiments Anchor Charts
What I Have Learned Teaching/Miller’s Science Space
balloon held up to a stream of water for an electricity experiment
Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls

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
Child’s Play Nursery via 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 (paper) 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 and Girls

6. Make jumping goop with static electricity

Kick your static electricity experiments up a notch by mixing a batch of cornstarch “goop,” then making it “jump” toward a balloon. Amazing!

Get tutorial: Jumping goop 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 and clear LED lights at Amazon

potato clock experiment kit

8. Create a classic potato clock

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

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

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
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 and copper wire at Amazon

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

15. Build multiple circuits

Create more than one circuit using 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 to 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 produced) to make a battery.

Get tutorial: Coin battery

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

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, battery holder, LED light bulbs, and alligator clips 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 such as a key, chalk, wood, and/or candle. Then, test each object by putting it between a battery and a light bulb 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 and LED light bulbs at Amazon

spiral of black paint on paper for electricity experiment
Science Buddies
battery in a copper coil
Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls

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 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 even conduct 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 Experiment

Buy it: Copper wire and galvanized screws 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. It’s a great way to show students how literally anything can be a conductor of electricity.

Get tutorial: A Simple Lemon Battery

Buy it: Multimeter at Amazon

Love these electricity experiments and activities? Check out Easy Science Experiments Using Materials You Already Have On Hand.

Plus check out Turn Muggles Into Wizards With Harry Potter Science Experiments.