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.

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.

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

• 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

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.

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}

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:

Welcome to Kids Activities!

My name is Holly Homer & I am the Dallas mom of three boys…

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2. jan says:

this ia a good experament for my kids 😛 and they have fun:)

3. Pauline@lessonslearntjournal.com says:

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

4. Susie @Bowdabra says:

Hey there! Thanks so much for visiting our blog and linking up such an awesome project! Have a great week!

Susie@Bowdaba
http://bowdabrablog.com

5. Susie @Bowdabra says:

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

6. Stephanie says:

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