Simple Circuit with Christmas Lights

SCXL

It’s that time of year when Christmas lights start going up everywhere. How could these twinkling lights be made educational? Well, these strings of lights provide the perfect opportunity to teach your children about circuits. Here’s how the project works:

1. What you’ll need: Christmas tree lights, copper wire strippers, AA batteries, electrical tape, and a notebook and pencil for your child to write down ideas or record observations.

2. What to do:

  • First and foremost, remind your child about safety precautions. They shouldn’t complete this experiment without you watching them. Also, they should be working on a clean, dry surface and their hands should also be completely dry.
  • Have your child cut one light from the string, leaving an inch of wire on either side. Then they should strip the ends of the wire of the insulation, explain to them that the insulation does not carry electricity.
  • Next explain the idea of a circuit to your child. They must figure out how to power the light with a battery knowing that a circuit is essentially a circle which the light, battery, and wires must be a part of. Then, just let them test out different ideas until they figure it out.
  • If your child needs help, feel free to give them a hint! And don’t forget to detach the wires once you’ve admired your child’s work, so that the batteries don’t run out.

Enjoy the project and check out the science subjects on SD Accelerate! Sign up for our free two month promo here!