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Electric Play Dough Recipes

Fun with Circuits

Making circuits out of play dough is a fun and easy way to learn about electronics while adding light, sound, and motion to your artwork. The kit contains all the electronics parts you need to get started building your own squishy circuits, but you will need to provide your own Play-Doh and modeling clay. The Play-Doh serves as a conductive material that electricity can pass through, while the modeling clay serves as an insulating material that stops the flow of electricity. Alternatively, you can follow the electric play dough recipes, below, to make your own conductive and insulating doughs. Whether you are a student looking for a science fair project, a teacher looking for a classroom activity to do with your students, or a parent looking for a fun at-home science activity, we have the perfect circuits adventure:

Making Electric Play Dough

Use these recipes if you want to make your own conductive and insulating play doughs.

Conductive Play Dough

Step Ingredients Procedure
1 1 cup (C.) water
1 C. flour
¼ C. salt
3 tablespoons (tbsp.) cream of tartar or 9 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Optional: food coloring (a few drops)
  • Mix all the ingredients in a clean mixing bowl.
  • Note that you are only including 1 C. of flour for now.
2 None in this step.
  • Transfer the mixture to a pot.
  • Stir the mixture from step 1 continuously over medium heat until a dough ball forms.
3 ½ C. flour
  • Turn off the stove. Carefully remove the pot from the heat and dump the play dough back into your mixing bowl.
  • Wait several minutes for the mixture to cool. Once it has cooled down, knead (mix the dough with your hands) in additional flour until desired consistency is formed.
Table 1. Directions for making conductive play dough.

This video is a step-by-step tutorial on making the conductive play dough. It should help answer any questions you have about how to judge the consistency of your play dough at each step.


Insulating Play Dough

Step Ingredients Procedure
1 1 C. flour
½ C. sugar
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Mix all the ingredients in a clean mixing bowl (especially if you used food coloring to make your conductive play dough).
  • Note that you are only including 1 C. of flour for now.
2 ½ C. deionized or distilled water
  • Slowly add small amounts of water as you continuously knead the dough.
  • Do not add the whole 1/2 C. of water at once or your play dough may become too sticky. You might not need to use the whole ½ C.
3 ½ C. flour
  • After a dough ball has formed, knead in additional flour to remove stickiness.
Table 2. Directions for making insulating play dough.

This video is a step-by-step tutorial on making the insulating play dough. It should help answer any questions you have about how to judge the consistency of your play dough at each step.

 
squishy circuit add ingredient

squishy circuit add ingredient

squishy circuit stir

squishy circuit dough ball

squishy circuit knead dough

squishy recipes final 7

squishy circuit cookie cutouts holding hands with LED
You can use your own home made play dough to make circuits.