Written by Christa at Little Log Cottage School.
Learning how electrical circuits work are important science skills for kids 4th grade and up. When you understand how electricity works, you can begin to troubleshoot electrical devices and can even begin to build and design your own inventions!
It’s important for kids to get hands-on experimenting when learning the different parts of a circuit. When they have an opportunity to practice using electricity, they’ll soon see the importance electricity plays in our everyday lives.
This highly engaging electrical activity will challenge kids to design their own homes by providing each room with a light, fan, and switch! I love it when you can combine creativity in a learning project!
Electrical Shoebox House STEM Activity
When I was a kid in school, I was intimated by science and especially electricity. I had that stereotypical thought that science was for boys and way to difficult for me to understand.
When I was thinking about classes to teach for my up and coming tutorial year, one word kept jumping at me: STEM.
STEM is a highly used buzz word for educators across the world. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
I was terrified to teach STEM, but I knew if I wanted my kids to be comfortable with science, I was going to have to get over my fear of it. And boy am I glad I did.
If you’re feeling uncertain about your abilities to teach STEM, don’t. Just jump in and do it.
To do this activity you’ll need:
- a shoebox
- alligator clips (at least 4)
- 2 AA battery holders with wires connected
- 4 AA batteries
- one motor
- one switch
- 2-3 miniature light bulbs
EASY HANDS ON HOMESCHOOL SCIENCE
To begin this activity, your kids will need a good grasp of how a circuit works. You can always have them play around with the circuits to practice lighting up all of the light bulbs and the motor.
When they have a pretty good understanding of the concept, it’s now time to build the house. First, section off the different rooms of the shoebox. You can use scraps of cardboard to be the dividing walls.
Once the walls are up, it’s time to wire the house. You may need box cutters to cut holes in the walls (shoebox) to run the wires from the outside of the shoebox into the inside. Tape may be needed to secure the power source on the outside of the house.Now it’s time to hook up your electricity.
Challenge your kids to light up two rooms of the house and run one fan. Then, if you want to add a little bit of design into your challenge, your children can cut out a door and design furniture.
It really is a tiny house! What a cool way to learn about electricity!
Want to see a really cool shoebox house? Take a look at this video!
Get even more ideas for teaching hands-on science in your homeschool below!