Electric Jellyfish

Learn about creating static electricity with this simple project. Explore more by using this technique to create a living birthday cake with candles, campfire, or wetland scene!

  1. Ages: 5 - 8

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. A little messy


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Cut the body of the jellyfish out of colored paper. 

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Tip

    Optional: Use one colored paper for the front and a different colored paper for the back of the body.

  • Step 2

    Cut tentacles for the jellyfish out of rice paper.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Glue the tentacles to the back of the body or in between the front and back of the body if you used different colored papers.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Secure the jellyfish to a wall with tape.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Blow up a balloon and rub it against your hair to create static. Then, float the balloon over the jellyfish tentacles and watch them move with the balloon! Experiment with different lightweight papers or materials (like cellophane and plastic wrap).

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Learn moremagnifying icon graphic

    What’s going on?

    When you rub the balloon against your hair, negatively-charged electrons are transferred from your hair to the balloon, creating static electricity on the balloon. When you move the now-charged balloon close to the paper tentacles of your jellyfish, positive charges on the tentacles are attracted to the negative charges on the balloon, pulling the tentacles towards the balloon. You can also use the static electricity on the balloon to get the balloon to stick to the wall, or to your hair - give it a shot!

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