Electric firefly

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This was our inaugural Pre-School STEAM Story Time event. What an event it was!

Lots and lots of children and their parents atending this Story Time session. We read some delightful books about fireflies, sang some songs and enjoyed some movement before heading to the craft tables.

electric firefly childrens creations (Small).JPG electric firefly childrens creations 2 (Small).JPG electric firefly childrens creations 3 (Small).JPG

For those of you who might want to experiment with this kind of activity at home here is everything you need to know


A battery pack (2 x AA batteries) with leads ( you might find it easier to have a couple of alligator clips as well)
A small LED (approx 5mm)


  1. Create your firefly shape. The most important thing is to have two sausages of conductive dough completely separated by a sausage of the insulating dough. Give it wings - we used sparkly card cut into wing shapes. Add some antennae - we used straws. They also doubled as legs.
  2. When your creation is ready insert the LED into the back end of your firefly. Make sure the legs of the LED go into each of the conductive sausages of playdough.
  3. Attach your batery pack to the conductive playdough, in the same way you inserted the LED. Your LED should now light up!

Problem solving & Experiments

If the LED doesnt light up - switch the wires over (direction does mater in this activity). If it still doesn't light up check you have the conductive playdough totally separated by the insulating dough.

Experiment - can you put another LED in? do the lights shine as brightly if you do? Can you work out the positive & negatives of this set up? (LED's have a positive & negative leg and they need to match the battery positive & negative to work). What happens if you plug the battery into the firefly in a different place? Try closer and further away from the LED.

More inspiration

If you really love making the firefly go to Squishy Circuits for heaps more inspiration!

Council acknowledges that we conduct our business on the traditional lands and waters of the Peramangk and Kaurna people. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging as the Custodians of this ancient and beautiful land.
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