Do you have kids who enjoy science-oriented educational toys? Or, fun science kits for kids involving STEM activities? My boys have loved the traditional snap circuit kits (scroll down for image) and they have spent many hours playing with them, however, they wanted to take a deeper dive into circuits. They wanted to start making their own simple circuits using more raw material components than those found in traditional snap circuits. Together, my son and I created this Beginner DIY Circuit kit for kids to make simple circuits. My son has all the knowledge for making this kit, so I was just along for the ride (and I even learned a thing or two from him that I didn’t know about circuits).
This post contains affiliate links. Please see the top bar menu or sidebar menu for more details. Thank you:) Disclaimer: Use under adult supervision. I urge you please use this kit with caution and never touch exposed wires that are connected to a power source as the will be hot.
As a mom, I’ve always encouraged creativity and experimentation play in my kids. And if you have a child who is interested in these things too, or you are just interested in fostering these skills in your own kids, make them this DIY simple circuit kit for a holiday gift, Christmas present, or birthday present.
Read on for the full list of items needed for this fun science learning kit. In this post, you will also learn how to use the DIY circuit kit for kids. And the wonderful thing is the kids will learn and have fun at the same time:) Follow along with this post and learn how to make your own circuits. A GIANT THANK YOU to my son who helped me create this post. I definitely could not have done this without him:)
This kit should be used under the supervision of a parent for young kids due to the potential for touching hot wires. Remember to always keep fingers on the silicone rubber portion of wires when wires are live, NEVER touch the exposed metal wire that is live because it will be hot. Use of a SWITCH OR BUTTON is helpful for setup so the EXPOSED WIRES can be touched to be connected prior to being live.
Components for this DIY Science Kits for Kids: Design & Make Circuits!
This is the list of components to make the circuit DIY Science Kit. Click through the affiliate links here or take this list to your local hobby store to find the needed parts. Some of the items are optional or just bonuses, so feel free to mix and match to create your own kit but make sure you have these core components:
- battery holders (3 battery holder component and 8 battery holder component)
- simple motor(s)
- wire stripper
- an action component such as LED lights (needs resistors when using multiple), a fan, or a speaker (pick one, two, or all three)
- a container, such as a fishing tackle organizer or another plastic container with compartments, for storage of all the circuit kit components
- AA batteries (number based on the size of the battery holder)
Optional items include:
- buy just one of the battery holders we suggest listed above (the eight will give more power for larger circuits)
- switches (though these are beneficial)
- wire cutters
- alligator clips for use with the motors
Although my son says all of the components listed above are good to have for the best kit😉
Here are all the details:)
Super important instruction: ALWAYS store your kit with the batteries removed from the battery holder. If the exposed wire ends touch each other, the battery holder will get very hot to the touch and could melt the plastic and ruin the battery holder or even burn fingers. When ready to use the kit to make circuits, simply insert the batteries into the holder in the direction indicated on the holder.
This is what can happen if the battery holder unit overheats.
We suggest this smaller battery holder as the power source for making smaller circuits, where just a motor is attached for example. This one will hold 3 AA batteries.
For a stronger power source, such as when hooking multiple components into the circuit, we suggest the 12-volt battery pack shown below. This battery holder will hold 8 AA batteries.
Add one or both Battery holder boxes to your own kit depending on your own needs, desires, and budget. Just remember for circuits with multiple components, the 12-volt battery holder is needed.
Don’t forget to buy some AA batteries!
We chose a five pack of motors, but feel free to choose whatever number of motors you desire to add to your kit.
The button will make the motor go and the light/fan/speaker to turn on.
Only one set of buttons is needed, but we’ve used both of these buttons so both have worked out well in circuits we have built with this kit.
This particular pack is a two-pack because I wanted the kit to work for multiple kids playing at once, but only one wire stripper is really needed.
Wire Cutter (optional item)
This is the wire that can be cut and used for components that do not already have a wire attached. Cut the wire with scissors or a wire cutter. Use the wire stripper to remove the silicone rubber from the ends of the wire piece to expose the metal. This exposed wire will be twisted onto the adjacent component’s wire in the circuit, whatever that is chosen to be by the user.
Circuit Switch or Simple Switch
The benefit to the switch is that the circuit can be left on without having to hold the button down. Plus using a switch helps when hooking up multiple components because it can be in the off position during setup.
With the 12-volt battery holder, many lights can be strung together in the circuit. If using just the smaller 3 AA battery holder then use one lightbulb.
When hooking multiple lights together in a simple circuit, be sure to use resistors.
The speakers are fun for the kids. When the circuit is hooked up correctly, the speaker will make a sound.
Small Electric Fan
This is the fan we used in this circuit kit. We modified a computer fan for this kit. It is simple to modify the fan for use in this kit. See below for instructions.
How to modify the computer fan:
Cut the white plug off the wires of the fan and separate the red and black wires with a butter knife. Expose the wires by stripping away the rubber on the ends so they can be attached to another component.
Kit Organizer Container
We love this organizer because everything fits inside. The size of the containers compartments are adjustable so it’s customizable to fit the needs of the kit.
How to Make the Circuits
Mix and match as desired to make circuits. Here are three ideas for kids to try when making simple circuits. Always connect red wires to red wires and black wires to other black wires for when using more than one component for the circuit.
1. Circuit with LED light, Speaker and Switch plus LED light, Fan, and Switch
For this simple circuit the following components are used:
- LED light
- 8 battery holder
- 8 AA batteries
- silicone wire
- fan (switch out speaker for fan)
Insert the 8 AA batteries into the battery holder.
I urge you to please remember to remind kids to handle wires ONLY in sections still covered by the silicone when the wires are live. Touching the exposed wires that are live will be hot to the touch and will shock or could even burn skin, so don’t touch them.
Use of a switch or button is very helpful when working with circuits, even simple circuits like the ones in this post.
For components that do not have wire already attached, simply strip the silicone rubber off both ends of a short piece of wire with the wire strippers. Twist the exposed wires (not when live) together to connect the components. Thread exposed ends of wires through holes of a button or switch and twist it on to connect. Essentially you will be connecting them all together in sort of a circular shape including the battery holder, the circuits power source.
The switch will allow the circuit to stay on when it is clicked to on mode.
Next, replace the speaker with the fan to see how the fan can spin.
Here is a video for how to make this circuit. I hope this video helps you in your adventures with this kit.
2. DIY Motor with Paper Fan
This fun circuit with a motor is a way for kids to get creative. They can make a paper fan to attach to a motor and then they can make it spin. Kids could color the fan if they want to get creative. They will be able to cut the fan in the shape they want so they get to use their imagination to design something fun for this circuit.
Components needed for this circuit:
- a piece of paper to cut a fan shape out of and markers or crayons if decorating the fan
- 8 battery pack
- 8 AA batteries
- hot glue gun
How to Make it:
Get the supplies organized.
Cut out a fan shape out of the piece of paper. Color paper fan if desired.
Younger kids may need help with the hot glue gun. Heat up the hot glue gun and add a drop of hot glue to the middle of the paper fan. Quickly hold it to the stem of the motor and hold it securely until the glue hardens. This completes the motor and fan portion of this circuit.
Next, insert the AA batteries into the 8 battery holder.
Attach the components of this circuit together: the motor using the silicone wire with ends stripped of silicone rubber, a button with another piece of stripped silicone wire, motor with paper fan glued to it with the wire, and the battery holder. Twist the exposed wires together (before live) to create a circular-like closed circuit and the fan will spin.
Here is a video to show how to fan the DIY Fan Circuit.
The paper fan is easily removed by simply breaking it off the stem of the motor. We were able to remove our paper fan and glue completely without it leaving a trace so it can be used over and over again. Pull pieces apart. Be sure not to touch live wires because they will be hot.
3. Super Simple Circuit
For a super simple circuit the following components are needed:
- 3 battery compartment holder
- 3 AA batteries
For this simple circuit, attach the battery holder wires to the speaker wires, twist the non-live exposed wires together. Once live the speaker will make sound. Don’t touch live exposed wires.
This can be repeated with any of the action components by replacing the speaker component with the fan or an LED light.
Here is a video to see how to create a simple circuit.
Educational Toys DIY Science Kits for Kids
Commercially-made Snap circuit kit:
Below is one of our favorite science kits for kids that comes already set to use. It is very easy to use, even my son was able to use it when he was only six-years-old. It comes with a great booklet with color-coded pieces and diagrams to make different circuit configurations. This is a great educational toy that brings hours of enjoyment.
My boys loved really this set:) I have loved it also because it gave them something fun to do while they were learning at the same time. That’s a win-win!
I think this pre-made kit is awesome, but if your kiddo is craving a more real-world playtime involving science and circuits, make this kit described in this post for him or her. They will love it!
Let’s Talk Cost for this Kit
The eleven components of this kit include the following items:
1 pack of red Buttons $5.99
5 Motors $5.99
Battery compartment (small one with 3 AA batteries) $5.99
Battery compartment (12-volt larger one) $5.66
Silicone wire $6.48
Pack of LED lights $4.99
Electric fan $8.00
Storage container $4.88
Wire stripper $4.72
TOTAL COST for all 11 items listed above, as of 11/17/2018, came to $66.68 + tax + AA batteries. I purchased all of these kit items online. Craft stores or hobby stores may also carry these items.
More Frugal Option:
I have some suggestions in order to make this kit in a more frugal manner. To make a cheaper kit, simply cut out any of the optional items listed below:
- buy just one of the battery holders, not both (if buying just one, I suggest the 8 pack battery holder)
- buy just 1 or 2 of the action components (LED lights, electric fan, speakers)
- buy a smaller pack of motors (we bought a five pack)
- wire cutter (note: wire cutter is NOT included in the $66.68 total above)
I hope your child enjoys this kit! Educational science kits for kids are the perfect way to combine play and learning together.
Read about my other ideas for Educational Toys DIY & Science Kits for Kids
I LOVE inspiring kids!
For kids who enjoy creating in the kitchen:
Other ideas for Science Kits for Kids that we love include:
Thanks for visiting! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post:) I hope your child loves this kit! Good luck and have fun with it!
Copyright ©2018 Julie Hoag writer. All Rights Reserved.
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