Christmas play dough circuits

Over the last year or so, we've done a number of play dough circuit activities, but we haven't done one for a while.  I combined amusing the little one with play dough and Christmas bells with adding a battery and some LEDs into the mix for the 4 year old.  It ended up with both of them telling me to make particular shapes for them in their specified colours, but it resulted in two happy boys for 45 minutes!

Christmas themed play dough circuit

For this you need some play dough (ours is ELC own brand, but any salt dough based play dough should work), LEDs and we use a 9V battery and clip although we've also tried connecting some AA batteries in a line with play dough blobs between and they work fine (each battery is 1.5V so we found you needed 4-6) but it's easier to have a loose connection somewhere.

The Christmas bells conducted electricity, and that made for a fun variation in how we connected the circuits together.  My son designed circuits with different shapes of dough and a mix of bells and LEDs.  He remembered that we needed to make the LEDs the correct way round (they don't conduct in the reverse direction), and did some problem solving when the LEDs didn't light, finding loose connections.  We also talked about why as he made the 'Christmas wreath' loop bigger the lights were less bright (more resistance).  

Holly leaf play dough circuit

I've put a few more photos of his creations on Instagram if you're interested, there were lots of variations although I particularly liked the holly leaves with the red LED 'berry' between!