Simple Electric Circuit

Playful Learning: Simple Electric Circuit

I will never forget the feeling of creating my first electric circuit. I was in third grade and my teacher introduced the concept to us and gave us the materials we needed to make it work. It took a few tries, a few adjustments were needed, but when that bulb lit up for the first time, so did my curiosity. I can remember my walk home that day, I worked through a few modifications in my mind and was elated when I finally visualized how the circuit I created that day at school was the same as the light switch in my house.

You see, children are natural tinkerers and when we give them the tools they need and the right dose of inspiration, they turn on, they light up, and they want to explore more… What more could you hope for in a day?

As I set out on a quest to develop more of these types of learning experiences for the studio, building a simple electric circuit quickly came to mind.



Copper Tape



  1. Read a book or watch the video in the resource section to introduce the basic concept of electricity and a simple circuit.
  2. Next, use the KWL chart below to have your child start out the experience by writing about what they know about electricity. Then ask your child or student to think about and write what they would like to know about electricity.
  3. Watch the video below… You can use the printable above or the one shown in the video.
  4. When you have successfully completed your circuit, complete the experience by asking your child to reflect on what they just learned on the KWL chart.


KWL Chart

Playful Learning: Simple Electric Circuit





Playful Learning: Simple Electric Circuit

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With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.



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  1. I love this so much! Thank you for sharing a beautifully simplistic learning tool. I love how the focus is all on the path to creating an electric circuit. I cannot wait to try this at home with my little guy!

    1. You are so very welcome, Kat! There is nothing like seeing your child light up when they make it work :-)…

      P.S. I just clicked on the link to your lovely blog and saw that you are both fellow Long Islanders!

  2. Beautiful! We explored with the usual battery, wires and bulbs but now I want to try the tape and LED stickers. We wired a MagnaTile house to light up, but this might work better because it’s so lightweight.

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