Children naturally tend to have very inquisitive minds. From a young age they seek to gain knowledge on all matters, as every parent who’s ever been stumped by questions like “Why is the sky blue?” is all too aware of. In time, however, children can learn to harness this natural curiosity and turn it into a genuine passion, so don’t be afraid to encourage and nurture their earliest pursuits. For example, if your child is curious about electricity, you can use the summer break to introduce basic electrical concepts and rules to him or her. With that in mind, here are a few fun little games and experiments like that will make learning about electricity feel like a breeze:
1. Build a light bulb together
Probably the most basic of all electrical devices, lightbulbs have been around since the late 19th century. To create your own you’ll only need a few household items: 8 D-sized batteries, a mason jar, some electrical tape, a heat-safe container, a toilet paper tube, mechanical pencil refills and small alligator clips. You simply have to tape the alligator clips to the toilet paper tube, place it in a heat-safe container, put one piece of pencil lead in the alligator clips and cover it all with a jar. Then just tie the batteries together with electrical tape, hold the clips to each of the eight batteries, and voila! Edison would be proud.
2. Do the static electricity balloon experiment
The old saying about how opposites attract is undoubtedly true in nature. Illustrate this for your child by doing the static electricity balloon experiment. Start by purchasing two balloons, inflating them, and holding them close to one another. Afterwards, proceed to rub them against a woolen fabric and then try moving them close to one another once more. The fact that the two balloons appear to no longer be friends is directly related to the concept of static electricity. By rubbing them against the fabric, the balloons are now both negatively charged and will each reject the other until they return to normal.
3. Invest in specialty toys
Aside from simple experiments you can do at home, there are a lot of products that can teach your kid about electricity in a fun and novel way. The ThinkFun Circuit Maze, for instance, walks him or her through the basic concepts of electrical engineering, with 60 levels of logic puzzles for all levels of skill. Meanwhile, the popular MakerBloks function like super high-tech LEGOs and can provide valuable information about electronic circuitry.
4. Browse kids’ websites
In this day and age, virtually everything there is to know is easily accessible for free on the Internet. Guide your child through the online maze by pointing out specific sites that do a great job of explaining basic electrical concepts. Most use a combination of pictures and videos to get their points across, but many also focus on direct user interaction through fun little games and quizzes. Great starting points here include Mandy Barrow’s science zone and Science Made Simple.
Considering that almost everything we use nowadays requires electricity in order to run, the importance of a good foundation in this aspect cannot be overstated. The children of today will be the ones who control the resources of tomorrow, so make sure you provide your kid with a quality, forward-thinking education.
If you are in need of electrical repairs or installation, call Penna Electric. Our knowledgeable, experienced staff will get your electrical work done right the first time every time.