this year’s diy christmas gifts, part 1: squishy circuits kits

IMGP9707one of my favorite library projects this year was squishy circuits. the short description of this project is– use homemade playdough to conduct enough electricity to light up some led’s.

IMGP9709the longer description (and much more eloquent answer to the question, “why?”) can be found in this ted talk. lots more explanation of the “how” can be found at this website.

but if after following those links all you want to do is find out how you can make an awesome diy squishy circuits kit to give to all of your friends between the ages of 4-104, then this is the place for you!  here is what i chose to include in each kit:


battery holder with wire leads.  i chose the 4 aa battery size.  the on/off switch was a nice feature, but you also need a screwdriver to open this one up to replace the batteries. i also included the batteries in the kit.

IMGP9711led lights. i chose the “party pack” for the best prices for the most lights.  occasionally, some of the lights just don’t work or get blown out right away.  it’s nice to have some back-ups.  plus… party!

micro-vibration motor. this item was the trickiest to make work. might need a stronger battery pack to be really effective?

if i made more in the future, i’d also add some sort of buzzer.  really, you can add any component you want, as long as it has a positive and negative lead and can run on whatever battery power  you’re including in the kit.

round metal tin.   i found mine at michael’s crafts, but can’t find it on their website. i actually would have preferred a square or rectangular tin, but could only find round, so that’s the shape i made my labels. if you don’t mind designing your own (or having round labels on a square tin) it doesn’t matter what size or shape your container is as long as all your materials fit inside.

printable labels

printable instructions and dough recipes (i printed these on a full sheet of adhesive label, then peeled off the backing and folded the page in half so that the printing would be double-sided and sturdy. then i cut them out into an accordion-fold string of circles)

here’s a few photos of the kits in action (with a little help from grandpa):

IMGP9498 IMGP9502enjoy!

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