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Simple Science at Home – Static Electricity

A drawing of a skull with a striped background You might be familiar with the activity that moves your hair even if no one is touching it! Simply rub a balloon on a soft paper towel, cotton or wool shirt, and bring it near a person’s hair.

It helps if the person has fine hair, my husband’s is GREAT so I often draft him for this demonstration. He just loves it! 😉

If you want more suggestions for playing around with static electricity while we wait out this virus event, here are suggestions from the Exploratorium.


Holding Charge – All you need is a straw, hopefully in a paper wrap. If you don’t have a wrapped straw, use a soft paper towel. I disagree that it helps to have a dry day. Let me know what you think!

Charge and Carry – (Video) What if you don’t have insulation? use a foam plate! What if you don’t have a wool sock? use a soft paper towel!

Flying Tinsel – (Video) If you don’t have tinsel (I don’t either) use thin pieces of aluminum foil or cut thin strips from the foil wrapper for a piece of chewing gum.

Electrical Fleas -  If you don’t have a sheet of plastic, maybe you have a plastic take out food type container.

Remote Control Roller – I had to play with this one a bit to get it to work and then it seems to be magic. It’s not, it’s science!