Lego Inspired Electric Play Dough

We love Play Dough! We love science. We love Lego. What happens when you mix all three together? Lego Inspired Electric Play Dough… who wouldn’t want to play with that?

Lego Inspired Electric Play Dough

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Electricity for Kids | Electric Play Dough

Setting up the Experiment

We have wanted to make electric play dough as long as we can remember. I think it was over a year ago when we saw this awesome experiment with squishy circuits and recipes for conducting and insulating dough.

Electric Dough Ingredients

For this experiment, we only created the conducting dough and we adapted the recipe just a tad by adding lemon instead of cream of tarter. For the full recipe be sure to check out the original recipe here.

What is Electric Play Dough?

Electric Play dough was originally designed by St. Thomas University and is known as “squishy circuits”. The basic premise is that the play dough acts as both an insulator and a conductor of electricity in order to form shapes and add with lights, sirens, and motors.

Electric Play Dough is a great way to teach basic circuits to children. You can teach a simple circuit or build on that knowledge to include parallel and series circuits, electrical load, and even squishy sound music! The possibilities are endless.

Here is one of the creators of Squishy circuits sharing more about the research, recipes and hands-on learning.

 

This video is great for showing you more about how to make electric play dough. We went a slightly different route. I  love this hands on science lesson with real kids, to show you just what it might look like in your home or in school.

For us, this was the beginning of our exploration on Squishy Circuits. What happened during our lesson was slightly different.

We had our dough made. Just one… the conducting dough because that Legoman (age 9) had an idea and was stuck. He really has to try things first hand to see if they work before changing his thinking and trying a new way. So, I ran with it. He wanted to use our Snap Circuits to make a circuit. They are one of his favorite toys and he was certain that the dough would work to create a new circuit.

First, he loaded up the battery pack and attached the wires. He checked that the circuits worked from the snap circuits kit and then replaced the snap with electric play dough. It WORKED! Now he wanted to cover the light with dough completely leaving only the LED showing. This is where trouble happened.

Failed Electric Play Dough with Snap Circuits

If you have watched the other videos I included you might know why this method didn’t work. I could have told him why it didn’t work, but instead we were problem solving. The solution he ended up with was not at all what I was expecting.

Remembering his potato Clock from Christmas, he decided to gather the materials and try to replace the potato with electric play dough. However, he didn’t just want a glob of dough… No! He wanted it to resemble his favorite thing on the planet.. Lego!

Materials for Lego Electric Dough Clock

Did I really just write “Lego Electric Dough Clock”? Is that even a thing? Apparently, it is now! See, not what I ever would have planned on my own!

Fruit/Potato Clock Kit

Electric Play Dough {See full recipe here}

Bottle Cap {to form the top of the head}

Googly Eyes

Marker {for the mouth}

To make a Lego Head out of Play dough, simply make a large clump of dough and roll it into a ball. Once you have it in a nice ball, roll it on the table until it is the height of a cylinder you prefer. At this point, you can pinch a small second on the top and shape it with the bottle cap.

Add your googly eyes and draw on a mouth and you are ready to go!

Now, its time to connect your potato clock materials. Following the instructions in the kit, you can create your circuits that run to and from the clock.

Electric Play Dough Lego Clock

Since the circuit needs to run in one direction, you might have to experiment with which side to place your wires. Your Lego Head should now complete the circuit so you can tell time!

My son was pretty pleased with himself. Tomorrow…. adding the insulating dough and experimenting some more! We have some monsters we want to make and test! My son also has a helicopter he thinks he can build with electric dough. What do you think ?

We had a lot of fun putting together this little video while we were making and experimenting with our electric play dough! Have you ever made electric play dough? What did you do with it? I would love to know and see!

lectric Play Dough Powered Clock

 

Steam Activities for Kids

I am excited to be taking part in a month long series focused on STEAM activities for kids! I am honored to be joining some of my favorite blogs that encourage critical thinking and problem solving in young children. This week all of our projects have the theme of “Harness”.

Magnetic spinner //  Babble Dabble Do

//  Meri Cherry

Rubber Band Cards //  All For the Boys

10 Ways to Play and Learn with Springs // Left Brain Craft Brain

Electromagnetic Train //  Frugal Fun for Boys

Mason Jar Solar Night Lights for Kids // TinkerLab

Simple Circuits // What Do We Do All Day?

Did you miss all of our Flying Adventures last week? And be sure to follow along for the next three weeks while we Harness, Compute and Grow, all with the power of STEAM.

More Adventures in Science

Rainbow Science Ideas Engineering for Kids Baking Soda Rockets Simple Science Guide for a Year of Science Experiments for Kids

Now, for the exciting announcement. Well, I am so excited to announce that my new book, The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO® – 100+ Inspiring Ideas, is almost ready! In fact, it went off to the printer just yesterday! This is a book I have co-authored with several of my other friends who love and adore Lego Learning Ideas. The book is full of inspiring Lego learning ideas that are perfect for any age child! We have even started a new Facebook group devoted to learning with Lego and we would love to have you join us!

 

The Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO® - 100+ Inspiring IdeasIf you want to be the first to know when the book is available and you want some of the fun bonus offers just for you, be sure to fill out this survey form and be on the lookout for a Bonus printable very soon!

Lego Week Ideas

As I mentioned before, this is part of a week long celebration of all things LEGO over at Toddler Approved. She and a group of us bloggers will be sharing LEGO ideas on our blogs and Facebook Pages all week long!

I will be sharing, pinning and collecting all the great posts from the week. You can follow along by following my LEGO LEARNING board on Pinterest.

Do you have a favorite LEGO activity? What are your favorite simple summer fun ideas? I would love to hear! Connect with me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

 

19 thoughts on “Lego Inspired Electric Play Dough”

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  5. Wow, all three videos are great! This is such a fantastic learning process for kids. Hands on, mushy gushy and bam, you have light. So cool. Thanks for sharing!

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