Electricity experiments for kids

On the way home from camp this year, our teenage boys had a great time dismantling a disposable camera they’d found, and figuring out how to shock themselves with it.   Over and over from the back of the van we’d hear a pop and then a yelp and then riotous laughter.  In the front of the van, we’d laugh too, shake our heads over the things boys do for fun, and then be glad they were only working with AA batteries.

Photocredit: Tommie's ToolsOnce home, one of the boys did an internet search and figured out how to make a taser with a disposable camera.  Since I was still working under the assumption that AA batteries couldn’t be that dangerous, I didn’t worry as he worked diligently for an hour or so.  When he finished, he proudly pulled me into his room to demonstrate the taser by zapping a tin can.  The HUGE pop and resulting sparks made me scream involuntarily.  I quickly decided that he’d better only use it outside, and not on people. Possibly not the best experiment to try at home.

However, his obvious interest in the project got me thinking that he and our other kids might enjoy learning more about electricity.  I went looking for some safe science experiments that they could do related to electricity.  Here are some interesting ones that I found.  Please read through the experiments ahead of time and supervise your children to make sure everyone stays safe.

Make a Model of a Fuse

Build an Electromagnet

Make Electric Circuits

Make a Doorbell for Your Room

Make a Lemon-Powered Lightbulb

Build an Intruder Detector

Build Your Own Foxhole Radio


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  1. You gotta read the book –The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind– by William Kamkwamba> the whole chapters book, not the kiddie picture version. Electricity at the right place and time. I am a bit sad that he is too busy to update his blog, but he is out there doing good…

  2. Thanks for the suggestions, I my sons really enjoyed the ‘Intruder Detector’ experiment from http://www.experiland.com

  3. Interesting! I saved the link on Pinterest so we can try some experiments when we’re back in our school routine this fall.

  4. The mental visual of both the van experiment and the taser show-and-tell cracked me up. From your description and personal experiences, I can completely picture the whole scenario. Sometimes you wish you hadn’t taught them how to look things up and teach themselves, don’t you? Especially as you watch an emergency-room-visit-about-to-happen taking place. LOL.