Fun with Science – Batteries

My father was one of the original screen time haters. If I was watching too much TV he would say “turn that idiot box off!” (Yes, he called it that because he said it would turn us into idiots.) So, when forced to turn the TV off, I would have to find something to do. Mostly that involved going outside. But if the weather was frightful then I would have to figure out what I could do inside. At around 10 or 11 years old toys did not have a strong attraction for me so I began taking apart old radios and other small electronics. Without having any idea what I was doing, I was somehow able to fix many of these electronic devices. When I ran out of small electronics I found out that there was a host of fun projects one could do with a few electronic components and a battery.

I made a radio, a dozen or so electromagnets, a compass, citrus or other acid battery lights, potato battery, several radio antennas, and more. As my parents noticed the spare electronic parts lying around they decided to feed my interest by purchasing a few electronic kits. I was able to make a “real” radio which brought in more than 2 stations and instead of an earplug it had a speaker. An electronic motor (I still remember winding the copper wire for what seemed like an hour) a morse code transmitter, and even a cuckoo clock!

Today’s boy can still enjoy much of the same fascination and wonder with electronics. Kits are widely available on Amazon (Electronic Kits for Children) and at hobby stores. But you can also have some fun with a handful of  components such as wire, small light bulbs a battery, etc.

Here is a book with 55 simple projects

Some items can be found around the house or from taking apart older electronics. Some items to “stock” your son’s Electronics Center are suggested here:

Alligator Clips

Batteries, include 9V

2 Pin LED Lights

Solderless Flexible Breadboard Jumper Wire

18 AWG Gauge Wire

Helping Hand with Magnifying Glass

Wire Cutter

Long or Needle Nose Plier

Here are some simple experiments found on YouTube:

I am sure you can find many more simple and fun projects.

Now rainy days do not have to mean watching a screen. With just a few materials you can be on your way to hours of fun.


Christian, husband, father, grandfather, and educator who finds it a privilege to blog with his daughter and daughter-in-law. My desire is to support Christian parents and help boys be understood and appreciated.

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