New Mexico State Library

Latest News + Hitchhiker Blog

SRP Programming Idea: Paper Circuits

Glowing alien ship!
Glowing alien ship! Scroll down to the Photo Guide to see how to make one.

Paper Circuits!

This year’s summer reading theme is science. A fun, simple and affordable summer reading programming idea — that involves electricity — might be paper circuits. These activities incorporate LED lights to traditional paper crafts — and give kids a hands-on learning opportunity on what it takes to conduct electricity.



Make:  has super fun LED pop up card ideas  (and I have some basic instructions below).

Kids are amazing explorers. It might be fun for them if the science is explained, and then they are allowed to play and design the activity to work. Some kids might excel, some might struggle. You’ll be amazed out how the kids who figure it out fast will quickly turn and start helping others. And it’s always fun to see the creative approaches kids take to solve problems!

Vague instructions can be a good thing. Explain to kids the way electricity works — with a battery and 1 LED in hand. Let them play with the items while you lead them to figure it out. Then, introduce more “variables” – conductive materials and more LED’s. Next, work it into a design. And if you have time, add in how to make a simple switch.

More instructions + Video on Make: >>

Project Ideas >>

Photo Guide

Step 1: Determine positive and negative. Lay out items on back. Punch holes to poke lights through so they glow on front.
Step 2: Tape everything in place. Notice the lights are glowing!
Optional: Simple switch has been added.
Simple switch in use.
Robot with glowing eyes. Design printed from clip art provided with from CSLP manual.

Featured Categories

All Posts

All Categories