8 – 9

Hair raising electricity


Hair raising electricity

What to do with this activity?

Have you ever seen lightning strike the ground during a thunderstorm? Or perhaps you have experienced an electric shock after rubbing your feet on a synthetic carpet and then touching something? They are caused by the same thing - static electricity.

Static electricity usually happens when things get rubbed together. Electrons are tiny particles that move inside each atom (the building blocks of our world) and between atoms. When things are rubbed together the electrons move about and mix. Things become either positively charged if they lose some of their electrons, or negatively charged if they get extra electrons. Then things need to re-balance. The negatively charged object is attracted to the positively charged object. 

In the case of lightning, the rain clouds rubbing together builds up a very big negative charge, until the extra electrons are attracted to the nearest positively charged object - something on the ground. 

Watch this video from Hoopla Kidz Lab which shows you how to do an experiment with static electricity involving your hair, a balloon and tissue paper. 

  • Why am I doing this?

    Talking and listening helps your child build their language and thinking skills – this is a great foundation for them to learn more. Asking questions, finding out answers and looking up words together will help build your child’s vocabulary and knowledge of the world around them. 

  • How can I do more?

    Encourage your child to give their opinions and to ask questions about things they see around them. Help your child to make decisions by discussing their ideas. Check if your child understands different things they hear. Encourage your child to teach you new words and phrases they have learnt.

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