This is the third installment of the 5 Days of Christmas STEM. Check out the other projects and activities here.
It’s back. That sounds a little creepy for the Christmas season, but oh well. If you were around at Halloween you know that we created Spiders with Light Up Eyes for Halloween. I couldn’t possibly let this season go by without doing it again. This time I don’t think it made me have any additional gray hair, but we will see.
These simple circuit projects are a great way to get kids hands-on with science, engineering, and technology. The addition of an art component makes this a great STEAM project.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve been seeing the teasers for this project. It took a few days, but that was just because we used watercolors. I’m getting ahead of myself. Just as a reminder, this post may contain affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.
STEM Inspired Holiday Decorations
If you haven’t checked out the spider with the light up eyes you should definitely do that. I discuss more of the details there. You can find out a lot about this type of project and so much more in STEAM Kids. This would also make another great gift kit.
Need a little more background on circuits…
Grab the Simple Circuit Lesson Here.
- C 2032 Batteries (1 for each spider)
- Copper Tape
- LED Diodes
- Coloring Page or Drawing
- School Glue or Glue Stick
- Binder Clip (medium worked best for us)
We did two lights in the spiders and agreed that it was a little much. The lights were bright and it made the circuit more difficult to execute. We used one light on this. We did toy with the idea of add multiple lights, but after I enthralled them with a discussion on parallel and series circuits they
just wanted it over made an educated decision that one was enough.
Keep it Simple Silly!
My boys are not what you would call crafty. They like to start projects and not finish them and feel like torture is in the form of coloring pages. I also thought my oldest might lead a revolt if we brought out the tissue paper so I had to compromise.
We went to Pinterest and searched for Christmas Coloring Pages. Picked out a few and voila we had artwork ready to go. I also let them use whatever they wanted to color it. Watercolors, markers, pencils, WHATEVER to get it done.
If I had crafty kids, the footprint/handprint Rudolph with a light up nose would be super cute. Alas, I do not.
After You Have a Picture….
Before pasting the picture, decide where you are going to put the light. You will need to make a tab with the cardstock. Once you have decided where you want the light, you can paste and leave room for the battery tab (which will be the on/off switch). This is a great science project without being overwhelming.
It Isn’t Just Fun…
This can be as full or science as you want. A couple of points can’t be avoided….
The first is the idea that circuits must be complete to work. Everything doesn’t conduct electricity. I predict there will be a little trial and error. You and the kids will have to do some troubleshooting to figure out if there are gaps in the circuit.
The second lesson is that electricity has polarity. You might have to flip the battery to get it to work to match the polarity of the lights. Show the kids the positive and negative on several batteries. Explain that is why how the battery is inserted is important.
Since we had some issues last time, we bought a cheap battery tester and it became the hit of the project. We were able to test the button batteries and again they were able to see polarity and complete circuits with the tester, plus kids love gadgets. We were able to compare several batteries.
The Finished Project
At this point, they are hanging up in our school room making it so cute and festive! This could easily be done from start to finish in about 30-45 minutes. This could also be used to make special cards for relatives and loved ones. Everything you need is on Amazon so you could have it by Monday (I have a problem with the Amazon Prime).
A Gift Idea
This would also be a great gift kit for a tinkering type kiddo. I’m updating the download pack including a printable and instructions. Sign up below to have it sent to you as soon as it is available…
This is a bigger investment than the bridge building kit. For around $20 you could get a pack of LED lights, button battery, and the copper tape. This is something that can be used for a lot of projects or you could buy this and do this with a big group of kids over the holidays.