Electric play dough robots

Having seen my son enjoy playing with 'robots' made from slime and various child-safe loose parts from our toolbox and DIY supplies, I thought I'd see whether he found playing with the same pieces and some play dough equally engaging. This was indeed the case, although after a few minutes of play, he asked for a battery and some LEDs...

Play dough 'robots' in a circuit

We've played with play dough circuits before, and my son has experimented with series and parallel circuits and the conductivity of different materials. Since I gave him a snap circuits set, he's not asked to do 'electric play dough', but he clearly remembered it! I duly found the LEDs (light emitting diodes) and a 9V battery and battery clip for him (the clip is optional, but makes it easier not to short circuit the battery)when he asked.  The play dough - either commercially produced or home made salt dough - conducts electricity, so to make a circuit you need to have a continuous route through the dough, metal objects or the LEDs.  When you make a complete circuit with the LEDs in, they light up.

More 'robot' circuits

He made some 'robots' and joined them together with either the loose parts or LEDs. The LEDs only allow current to pass in one direction so you need to put them the right way around, with the long leg towards the positive terminal of the battery.  He made several different circuits, with LEDs and connections between robots using metal spanners and Allen keys.

Experimenting with wooden lolly sticks

He also experimented with wooden lolly sticks, concluding that they didn't conduct electricity.  His favourite robots were ones with blue lights (apparently a police robot) and red, yellow and green lights (apparently a traffic light robot) and with spanners for arms 'holding hands'.