Ready to make a Frankenstein COME TO LIFE? Be prepared! This is a freaky project (that's also really satisfying).
This project was inspired by and is used with permission by the Squishy Circuits folks. We love 'em! Visit their website here.
You will be making two types of squishy dough, one that is a conductor, and one that is an insulator. The basic idea is to create a head and a body out of the conductive dough, create the rest of the body out of insulating dough, jolt it with electricity, and make its LED-powered eyes light up! Freaky!
What we're learning:
1 Squishy Circuit battery pack
1 ball conductive dough
1 ball insulating dough, recipe below
2 LEDs, any type works
The Conductive Dough (I colored it pink with red food coloring)
This recipe requires a stove, so be safe!
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup salt
1.5 tablespoons Cream of Tartar (from the spice aisle in your grocery store)
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 drops red food coloring (to create pink dough)
Mix all ingredients over medium heat until ball forms. On a heat-safe surface, let the dough cool a little and knead more flour into it until a ball forms.
The Insulating Dough (I colored it green because...Frankenstein!)
This is a no-cook recipe
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/8 cup distilled water (from the water aisle, but you can make your own)
2 drops green food coloring
Mix ingredients together and turn out the dough into a pile of flour. Knead until smooth and forms a ball.
Step 1 - Cook the conductive dough (work with a parent or teacher here)
Step 2 - Knead the insulating dough (no cooking required)
For this dough, you don't need to cook it, just mix it up and knead until no longer sticky
Step 3 - Create your Frankenstein
For this step, you need to make sure to have two conductive pieces of dough separated by an insulating dough piece. With the conductive dough, make a head and a body. Make long 'worms' of insulating dough and surround the two body pieces so that the conductive elements don't touch.
Step 3 - Insert the electrodes from the battery pack, one to the head, the other to the body
Step 4 - Separate the two legs of the LEDs and stick the short leg into the head, the long leg into the body. Make sure the LEDs' legs are sticking into the conductive dough.
Step 5 - Optional - cover the body and head a little with more insulating dough to make Frank look a little less like a hot dog and more like a fat monster :)
The eyes should light up. It's ALIVE!!!
Troubleshooting - if the LEDs don't light up, try switching the direction of the LEDs. Make sure the electrodes and LEDs are clean and not rusty. Make sure the battery pack batteries are still good.