Have you tried Squishy Circuits? You can use them with regular clay and play dough to make circuits that really work! We use Squishy Circuits to make things that light up, spin, and make sounds! It’s a fun and safe way to introduce electrical engineering to kids. If you’re new to the world of Squishy Circuits, this Squishy Circuits Volcano is the perfect project to start with!
How to Set Up the Squishy Circuits Volcano Activity
Before doing this activity, you will need a Squishy Circuits kit, play dough, and modeling clay.
Show the kids how to complete a circuit. The play dough is conductive and the modeling clay is insulating. Squishy Circuits also has recipes for homemade conductive and insulating dough, but we find it easiest to just use store-bought.
Once you show the kids how the circuits work, let them create the designs for their activity. You can re-create the light-up volcano, or let them create whatever design they want.
Squishy Circuits Volcano Activity Explained
The design for this volcano didn’t come from me, but was entirely kid-made. The volcano is the perfect shape to use with Squishy Circuits because the conductive dough and the insulating dough can’t touch. This leaves a gap between the two that my daughter thought looked perfect for lava. So the light-up volcano was created. Squishy Circuits use the connectivity in play dough to complete a gentle circuit. You need two separate pieces of conducting dough separated by insulating dough or air to make the lights work. The long side of each light is connected to the red side of the battery, and the short side connects to the black side of the battery.
What other squishy circuit science activities can you think to try? Share your ideas with us!