Monday, March 16, 2009

Electricity activities

Here are some activities for 5-7 year olds that create awareness about electricity, its uses and hazards. Children learn how to be safe around electrical appliances and learn the mechanisms of a simple circuit.

Grouping Appliances

Explore the house and identify appliances which use mains electricity and those which do not. Talk about electricity and its potential dangers with children. Encourage children to identify other electrical appliances, plug sockets and lights. Help children to make a record of all the appliances identified, together with their use. Group the appliances into categories depending on what they do. For example a radio and a tape recorder both make sound. Talk with children about those that are difficult to group.

Show a video or video clip about electrical safety and talk with children about dangerous and less dangerous sources of electricity. Show children a collection of batteries and discuss batteries as a safe source of electricity.


Present children with a collection of devices which use batteries and appropriate batteries for them. Ask children to identify which battery would be used for each device bearing in mind that button batteries should not be used by young children. Help children to examine a battery and identify the symbols + and – . Demonstrate a device where it is important that the battery is in the correct orientation e.g. a remote control for the video recorder. Ask children to dismantle and reassemble torches so that they light up again.

Other things that can be done are to draw and label some of the devices that use batteries e.g. bicycle lamps, hearing aids. Explain why a particular device requires a particular battery e.g. a watch is very small so it needs a small battery. Identify ways batteries might be dangerous e.g. a small child might swallow one, if the battery were cut open the chemicals could escape and cause harm etc.

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