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When we found out that you can combine LEDs, buzzers, and propellers with play dough crafts using Squishy Circuits, we were intrigued! (This is not surprising, given our love of wacky circuit fun…)
Here’s a quick peek at one of the projects we made (isn’t it cute?!). That green play dough actually conducts electricity from the battery pack probes to the LED, allowing it to light up.
The folks at Squishy Circuits provided us with a sampling of their kits free-of charge. Read on to see what comes in the box, how it all works, and some of our Squishy Circuits creations.
You can check out our video tutorial here and subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with new projects.
Everything is explained below as well.
This project and all Geek Pack Hack activities must be undertaken with a suitable adult completing their own risk assessment and supervising their children at all times.
Inside the Box
Here’s a description of what comes in each different kit, starting with the most basic.
Squishy Circuits Lite Kit
The Squishy Circuits Lite Kit comes with everything you need to make a simple dough circuit:
- Green conductive dough
- LED lights (5 of each color)
- Battery holder (it needs 4 AA batteries, which are not included)
This kit does not come with insulating dough.
It is possible to make your own insulating dough, and Squishy Circuits provides a recipe on their website.
As we will explain below, you can also create projects with a gap between conductive dough parts.
Squishy Circuits Standard Kit
The Squishy Circuits Standard Kit contains *ALL* the components in the Lite kit listed above *PLUS* the following:
- Blue and red conductive dough
- White insulating dough
- Piezoelectric buzzer
- Carrying pouch
Squishy Circuits Deluxe Kit
In addition to *ALL* of the components included in the Standard Kit, the Deluxe Kit *ALSO* includes:
- Black, purple, yellow, and orange conductive dough
- Motor and fan
- On/off switch
- Sculpting tools and rolling pin
- Color changing LEDs
- Mechanical buzzer
- (The battery holder is also “deluxe”, with a slider to control the voltage)
Wiring Up Your First Squishy Circuit
Let’s take a look at the first simple circuit we wired up. One of the battery pack contacts is pressed into the red dough and the other contact is pressed into the blue dough. The LED has one leg in the red dough and one leg in the blue dough as well.
Why does the LED light up? There is a complete electrical circuit running through the battery pack contact, the red conductive dough, the LED, the blue conductive dough, and then back through the other battery pack contact.
Why does the white insulating dough need to separate the red and blue conducting dough? If the red and blue dough were touching, the current would just pass through the dough and avoid the LED altogether.
If you look back at the turtle above (or the lightbulb below), you’ll see the same arrangement: the LED contacts are touching two separate pieces of conductive dough, which are separated by insulating dough. The battery pack contacts are touching the same pieces of conductive dough into which the LED contacts are inserted.
A Few Project Ideas
Remember, the Standard and Deluxe kits come with buzzers and propellers– those can also just be swapped with the LEDs.
In this image, you can see that we did just that– we replaced the LED with the propeller.
Of course, given our logo, we had to make a lightbulb!
Again, you can see that we have two pieces of yellow conductive dough separated by insulating dough. In each of those pieces of conductive dough is one LED contact and one battery pack contact.
Finally, this Squishy Circuit sword fight has got to be our favorite.
The Squishy Circuits webpage also has a whole collection of great project tutorials.
Stay in Touch!
If you enjoyed this project or have questions, please leave us a comment!
Check out all of our cool engineering projects.
We also have a helpful basic electronics page that teaches skills such as how to use a breadboard and multimeter.