Spruce up artwork by adding LEDs to drawings and paper sculptures. In this activity, children learn about conductivity, current flow, simple circuit design, and mechanical switches.
- Coin cell battery
- 1 or more LEDs
- ¼” copper tape
- Clear tape
- Card stock paper
- small binder clips
- construction paper (optional)
- markers (optional)
- scissors (optional)
- craft tape (optional)
1. Use this template to get started: (Download template here.)
2. Fold in one corner of the template paper. Trace a coin battery just outside the fold – this is where the on/off switch goes.
3. Peel the sticky backing off the conductive copper tape and place it in the rectangle. Be sure to start the copper tape at the battery. The sticky side of the tape does not conduct electricity, so bend the tape (instead of cutting it) to create curves and corners. Leave a small gap where the LED will go.
4. Add the LED. Bend out LED leads and tape each lead on top of one side of the copper tape circuit. Make sure that the + side of your LED is connected to the + on the battery, and the – tab of the LED to the – on the battery.
5. Add the battery and hold it in place with a binder clip. If the LED isn’t lighting up, try flipping the battery over to make sure the + and – are aligned with the LED.
Try these add-on activities:
- Decorate the creation and make it stand out!
- Add a third dimension! Add a circuit to an origami creation, paper airplane, a card, or an ornament.