Static Electricity {Fun Balloon Experiment for Kids}

Have a little fun with static electricity.  Your kids will love this easy balloon experiment that demonstrates how static works.

Kids Activities Blog hopes this experiment sparks your child’s scientific curiosity about static electricity.

Simple balloon science experiment for kids

Static Electricity

Rebecca explained to us what static electricity is and showed us some ways we can observe it. Basically, it’s all about the electrons. Electrons can move about from atom to atom and object to object. When there is an excess amount of electrons, there is a negative charge. The extra electrons will move to an object with a lesser or opposite charge. You can hear a pop when the electrons move and even see a spark. You can also feel the shock when the charge is neutralized.

Balloon Experiment

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 balloons
  • sweater
  • assorted materials
    • tissue paper {we used 2 different sizes}
    • aluminum foil
    • cardboard scrap
    • paper scrap
    • yarn/string
    • pom pom
    • pipe cleaner
    • ribbon
    • cloth
    • foam

Static Electricity {Fun Balloon Experiment for Kids}

Procedure:

  1. Gather a random assortment of materials. See the suggestions in the materials list.
  2. Blow up the balloons.
  3. Touch a balloon to each of different materials including the other balloon. {Notice none of the materials is attracted to the balloon.}
  4. Rub one balloon onto the sweater. {This will add electrons to the balloon and cause it to become negatively charged.}
  5. Now touch the balloon again to each of the materials. Observe what happens.

Balloon Experiment for Kids {Learning about Static Electricity}

Questions to Ask: 

  • What will happen when we touch the balloon to these objects?
  • What happened when the balloon touched the tissue paper? {The tissue paper was picked up by the balloon. The tissue paper stuck to the balloon.} static electricity experiment results

Check out this video to see what we observed:

  • Continue asking questions about each material as you test them. For some of the objects, you may hear a pop. Some of the objects will be picked up only to fall right back down. {Either the charge was transfered or the object weighed too much to remain attached to the balloon.}
  • What other objects might stick to the balloon? What about your hair or the wall?
  • What objects will be pushed away by the balloon? {try an aluminum can or some running water}

More Kids Activities

What other ways have you learned about static electricity?  This balloon experiment is simple science fun.  For more scientific kids activities, take a look at these ideas:



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Trisha About Trisha

Trisha is a stay at home mom to her 3-year old son, Aiden. She writes about their adventures at Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play. Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy. It is never too early to start encouraging science learning (or any kind of learning for that matter). Follow along on Facebook, Twitter as @inspire_labs, Google+, and Pinterest.