Ticia asked for instructions to make these bugs yesterday, so hopefully these make sense! The fun STEM project for kids was invented by my friend’s engineer husband. Engineer dads are the best! =)
Tutorial: How to Make Light-up Bugs
- Insulated copper wire
- C battery
- Small light bulb
- Electrical tape
- Sticky tack (normally used to attach papers and other lightweight objects to walls)
- Paper, googly eyes, regular tape or glue, and pipe cleaners to decorate
- Cut a piece of wire that is roughly 2 inches longer than the C batter
- Strip the insulation from both ends of the wire
- Use electrical tape to secure one end of the wire to the flat end of the C battery.
- Wind the other end of the wire around the twisty part of the small light bulb.
- Attach the bottom of the lightbulb to the top side of the battery with electrical tape. The light bulb should light up.
- Add sticky tack to keep the light bulb in place, being careful to not get sticky tack in between the bottom of the bulb and the battery.
- Stick googley eyes in the sticky tack. Or one eye, if you are Lily.
- Tape paper around the battery, and add wings cut from differently-colored paper and pipe cleaner legs.
To turn off the light bulb, simply break the connection. Or buy a fancy switch =)
This is a great experiment, but the end product isn’t really a toy – children should be carefully supervised. I’d love to see pictures, if anyone else makes one! And, please let me know if the instructions don’t make sense?
I’m linking this post up to Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom (Ticia’s blog).
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
14 thoughts on “How to make light-up bugs”
do you have any issues with the kids zapping their fingers while building these?
I never have. C batteries are pretty harmless. You do want to make sure they are kept away from water.
Hmm, this is inspiring an idea in me. Thanks so much for posting, and for inspiring me. We will have to try to come up with some light up bugs of our own :)
Yay! Glad you like the idea :)
These are great! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the tutorial! My kids would think I’m just about the coolest mom ever if we made these!
Thank you SO much for this tutorial! I was really hoping you’d tell us h how to make these. I know we will give it a shot!
.-= Susana´s last blog ..Homeschool Week 16 =-.
I’m thinking firefly! And once I’m more awake and can find my glasses I can make sure I have all I need to make the super cool firefly. Thanks for putting this up!
.-= Ticia´s last blog ..Science Sunday- Fireflies =-.
Wonderful!!! Engineer dads rock!!! :-)
.-= Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog´s last blog ..Sunday Snapshot – Cool Day at the Park =-.
Kids have so much fun with these type activities. Thank you for sharing the step by step instructions.
I have to do it one of those days – I think Anna will be very fascinated. Thanks for sharing the instructions!
.-= Natalie´s last blog ..What My Child Is Reading – October 2- 2010 =-.
SO very cool!
.-= Christy´s last blog ..Secret Agent R =-.
I think my four year old would love to see how this works. I might come up with an entirely different battery project to show her. I’ll be sure to post it and link back here if I do!
.-= Jaimie´s last blog ..Self Portrait Saturday 14- October 2nd- Me and Spidey =-.
@Jaimie – I hope you do, I’d love to see what you come up with!
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