The topic of electricity can be boring and confusing, especially for a child. Instead of trying to explain the ins and outs of electricity to your kids, why not show them with these simple games?
Electricity Game #1
Put on a pair of clean socks and rub your feet against the carpet, the more you rub the more static electricity will be built up. You may even be able to make your own hair stand on end if you build up enough static. Touch one finger to a doorknob or other metal object to give yourself a shock, or touch a friend to pass the shock along to them!
Static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. As these charges build up on the surface of an object, they want to find a way to be released or discharged. This build up may be visible on a person when their hair begins to stand on end. Touching a metal object or another person releases these charges, creating a shock!
Electricity Game #2
First, tie an inflated balloon to a long piece of thread and then tape the other end of the thread to a ceiling or doorway so that the balloon hangs down. Next, blow up a second balloon and rub it against your head until your hair stands on end. Slowly move the balloon in your hand toward the hanging balloon and watch it swing away from you without being touched. Moving the balloon toward a small, steady stream (such as one that would come from a sink faucet) will make the water bend without being touched, the same way the hanging balloon did.
This game works because rubbing a balloon on your head pulls electrons from your hair, causing the balloon to become negatively charged. A negatively charged balloon attracts positively charged objects, such as hair, other balloons, and running water.
Electricity Game #3
Explain how a simple circuit can be created using only a battery, a light bulb and holder, tape, and two wires. Make sure that the socket holding the light bulb is a stand-alone ceramic one that has two exposed screws to attach the wires to. Help your kids attach one wire to each of the screws on the bulb holder, and then attach one of the wires to the positive end of the battery, and the other wire to the negative end. Once all of the connections have been made, the light bulb should light up, illustrating how a circuit works!
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