Electrical engineering is a field that most people would equate with rocket science and leave it to the professionals. I remember sitting through a class on electrical engineering in high school and feeling, so, so lost. I didn’t think I could ever learn about circuits, electrical currents, or how to make electricity work for me! Enter the Squishy Circuit rainbow!
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The Squishy Circuits set for kids works with modeling clay and play dough, allowing even the youngest of kids to safely learn the basics of electrical engineering. And since spring is just around the corner, we made a circuit rainbow and lit up out clouds, just like real-life electricity!
Squishy Circuit Rainbow: Electrical Engineering Challenge for Kids
What you’ll need for the squishy circuit rainbow challenge:
- Squishy circuits kit
- White modeling clay
- Play dough in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white
Make your rainbow from play dough (although you can also make it from modeling clay. The only part of the rainbow that makes an electrical current is the clouds). Roll out snakes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. My preschooler had a blast with this part.
Line up your rainbow.
Make clouds from white play dough. You’ll also need to make white “guards” from modeling clay to keep the clouds from touching one another.
Line up your white Squishy Circuits lights with two clouds. We connected either end of our rainbow, but if you have two Squishy Circuits connectors, you can light up both halves of your clouds.
Place one side of your lights into one cloud (separated from the other by modeling clay) and the other side into the other cloud.
Connect the black end of the paddle to the dough holding the short side of the lights (do not let the paddle touch the light directly or you’ll feel a shock!). Connect the red paddle to the dough with the long side of the lights.
Turn on your pack. Your lights should flicker to life!
If not, make sure the correct sides of the lights are in the correct side of dough (short to black, long to red). The connective dough can also not touch the other side of the dough or the current won’t be complete. This will prevent the light from turning on. If necessary, make your modeling clay guard bigger to keep the play dough from touching. This was why we found we could only get the clouds to light up.
If you wanted to get even more complicated, make alternating rows of the rainbow from modeling clay and play dough. This will allow you to place lights inside the rainbow itself. See if you can make the entire rainbow light up!
What Kids Learn Making a Squishy Circuit Rainbow
Squishy Circuits are designed to help kids learn the basics of electrical engineering in a safe, kid-friendly way. Kids will learn that some forms of dough (the play dough) is conductive for electricity, while others (the modeling clay) is insulating from electricity. The basics of electrical currents, completing a circuit, and how to keep a circuit connected when multiple parts are involved are taught in this rainbow-building challenge.
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