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. This simple science activity works well at home or in the classroom. Because this static electricity activity uses a balloon, adult supervision is required.

Will it Stick? Static Electricity Experiment - Kids Activities Blog
Will it Stick with Static Electricity? Let’s Find Out!

Static Electricity Experiment for Kids

Let’s play with electricity today, well…static electricity! This simple science experiment is a fun way for kids of all ages to experience the magical properties of static electricity and learn how it reacts to different materials.

Related: Scientific method for kids <–grab the free worksheet

What is Static Electricity?

Static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. These charges can build up on the surface of an object until they find a way to be released or discharged.

Library of Congress

Here at Kids Activities Blog, Rebecca explained to us what static electricity is and showed us some ways we can observe it.

Simple balloon science experiment for kids (text) - child blowing up a balloon
Let’s Learn about Static Electricity!

How Static Electricity Works

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.

Supplies Needed for Balloon Experiment

Supplies Needed for Balloon Experiment for Kids Learning about Static Electricity - 2 balloons, pom pom, yarn, tissue paper, foam, ribbon, cardboard, pipe cleaner, fabric and paper scrap
  • 2 balloons
  • sweater
  • assorted materials – use what you have on hand, here are our suggestions:
    • tissue paper {we used 2 different sizes}
    • aluminum foil
    • cardboard scrap
    • paper scrap
    • yarn/string
    • pom pom
    • pipe cleaner
    • ribbon
    • cloth
    • foam

Instructions for Static Electricity Experiment

Static Electricity experiment - balloon with tissue paper stuck to it with static electricity
Whoa! Static Electricity is magnetic!
  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.

Questions to Ask About the Static Electricity Experiment  

static electricity experiment results - what items stuck to the balloon are on the left and ones that did not are on the rigth
What Stuck to Your Balloon with Static Electricity?
  1. What will happen when we touch the balloon to these objects?
  2. 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.}
  3. 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.}
  4. What other objects might stick to the balloon? What about your hair or the wall?
  5. What objects will be pushed away by the balloon? {try an aluminum can or some running water}

Our Static Electricity Experiment Results Shown in Video

More Fun Science Experiments from Kids Activities Blog

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:

What did your kids learn about static electricity?



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6 Comments

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  2. Love this post Trisha :). My kids are mad about balloons and this will really tickle their curiosity 🙂 I’ll be featuring this post as part of my Playing with Balloons roundup. xo Pauline

  3. Thanks for sharing this fun kids activity in the weekly Bowdabra Crafty Showcase.

    The new showcase opens up Friday midnight and runs through Thursday noon. We hope that you share more of your crafty creations.

    http://bowdabrablog.com/

    susie @Bowdabra

  4. This is always a fun experiment for kids and in my case (Daddy). He and the girls had a ball (no pun intended) learning and play with static. This post is great because you’ve laid out what it takes and what to do in an easy to understand post. Awesome!

    Stephanie