Question for students: How do circuits work to use electricity?
We can’t see electricity, but we can make it reveal itself in this simple circuit activity. If your kid has never paused to reflect on how electricity makes a lamp turn on, this basic experiment will enlighten them.
Materials for this Activity
- Battery holder & joiner, D cell
- Battery, D-size, heavy duty, 2/pack
- Alligator clip leads, 2/pk
- Bulb holder, 1-bulb
- Bulb, screw style, 1.5-volt
Follow this Easy, Step-by-Step Activity
In this activity, kids will follow a series of steps to successfully build a simple circuit. If they follow everything correctly, a literal (and figurative) light bulb will go on!
- Screw the light bulb into the bulb holder. Loosen the screws on the bulb holder.
- Connect two different alligator clips to each screw.
- Put a D-sized battery in the battery holder.
- Connect the loose ends of the alligator clips to the battery holder. Observe the end result!
A Few Tips to Help You Out
- If nothing happened, make sure everything is connected securely, screwed in tightly and the battery is inserted correctly in the holder.
- Each alligator clip should have one end attached to the battery holder and one end attached to the bulb holder.
Go Beyond the Activity!
- Add other electrical components to the circuit, like a motor, resistor, or a switch, and observe the differences.
- Explore how to build a parallel circuit or a series circuit.
- Measure the current, voltage, and resistance in the circuit using a multimeter.
Download the activity sheet for a formatted and ready-to-print version of this page.