Squishy Circuits: Light Up Your Play Doh® Creations!

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Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
circuit, electricity, conductor, insulator
A butterfly made out of Play Doh and LEDs


Do you like arts and crafts? How about making sculptures with Play Doh® or modeling clay? Imagine how cool it would be if you could add lights to your creations? That is exactly what you will get to do in this activity! Keep reading to learn how you can make any light-up sculpture you imagine, such as a house with lights in the windows, an animal with light-up eyes, or a colorful butterfly.


Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Squishy Circuits were originally developed by the Thomas Lab at the University of St. Thomas.
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.


  • Electric Play Dough Kit available for purchase from our partner Home Science Tools. Includes:
    • 4xAA battery holder
    • Piezoelectric buzzer
    • Jumbo LEDs (25 total — 5 each in red, green, white, yellow, and blue)
    • White insulating dough (3.5 oz)
    • Red, blue, and green conductive dough (3.5 oz each)
  • AA batteries (4, not included in the kit).
  • Optional: in addition to the dough included in the kit, you can make your own conductive and insulating dough (for example, if you want other colors). See Electric Play Dough Recipes for materials and directions for making your own dough. You can also use store-bought Play-Doh® (replaces conductive dough) and modeling clay (replaces insulating dough).


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Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
circuit, electricity, conductor, insulator
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