Have you tried to explain what static electricity is to your child? You can demonstrate the concept to them as you make static electricity with this gravity defying snake!
Kids Activities Blog hopes your child will enjoy playing snake charmer for a day with this fun kid science experiment.
Activities which demonstrate static electricity are always a huge hit with kids for the seemingly magic, gravity defying effects that are produced. My four year old son had a blast “charming” this tissue paper snake up, up, up and off the table!
You will need:
something made of wool such as a pullover or carpet (to produce the electricity)
snake template (download below)
a tin plate or tin lid (Not pictured. See note at the end of this post)
1. Download the free snake template above by clicking on the picture. Print out the template.
2. Place the tissue paper over the template and draw the design on to the tissue paper.
3. Cut out the snake following the lines you have traced onto the tissue paper. If you like, draw on a face and some wiggly lines with a felt tip pen.
4. Rub the plastic ruler vigorously over the wool carpet or pullover, then hover the ruler over the snake’s head.
5. The snake will begin to rise off the table!
Make Static Electricity
When the plastic ruler is rubbed against the wool, an electrical charge is created. The tissue paper is attracted to the charge and because the tissue paper is so light, the charge is enough to lift the snake off the table.
Extend the learning:
- Try some variations to this activity. Predict what you think will happen and then test your theory.
- Try using a different type of paper. Will the thicker paper still lift up?
- Decorate the snake with sequins or glitter. Will the extra weight affect how the experiment works?
- Draw your own snake template. Does making the snake wider affect the results? What happens if you make the snake longer or shorter?
Tip: It took quite a lot of rubbing of our plastic ruler to generate enough electrical charge to lift our snake off the table. After doing some research on static electricity, we learned that placing the tissue paper snake on a tin plate or lid could increase the attraction of the tissue paper. Why not test both ways and discover for yourself if there is a difference?
More Kids Activities
Static electricity is a fascinating concept that kids love to explore. This cute gravity defying snake will let them get hands on experience with it. For more kids activities with science, take a look at these ideas: