It is usually a happening occurrence during the cold weather and all of us feel our hair standing straight. This is due to the static charge. I wanted to do some activity with this and teach my kids about static electricity. Take a look at the photos which we shot a few years ago with standing hair during the trampoline. See my Pritika and Tisha looking too small.
Tisha wanted to have fun and play with me during that time and that caught my attention. Let us see how we can make this happen and understand the science behind that.
Who can do it
This is the best fit for toddlers. But still, my preschool going Tisha enjoyed a lot. These shots were taken with her and are the most realistic. Even they will understand how it works and you can feel glad to teach them physics.
Things required for doing this experiment
- Hair – brushed hair that is soft will be the best fit for this experiment.
- Low mirror
Steps for Balloon Hair Static Charge Experiment
You must first start the experiment by blowing the balloon and tighten it to prevent air to escape. Then you must be rubbing the balloon on your kids head. Then take it away from the head and you can witness the strands of the hair standing. Make sure to place the balloon closer so that the hair reaches out.
In case your little one loves to be independent just like my Tisha, then you can see her like this. Having fun all alone like this. See that smile in her face. It is really fun and trust me kids will truly enjoy.
The physics basic begin with atoms. Atoms make up things and they contain neutrons, electrons, and protons. Neutron is neutrally charged and proton, electron have positive and negative charge respectively. Atoms contain an equal number of electrons and protons. Hence they cancel out the effect. When atoms gain or lose electrons they attain a negative or positive charge. The item that has the opposite charge will automatically get attracted. Those that have the same charge will get repelled.
With respect to this activity, balloon rubbing against the hair will make the electrons jump on the balloon. This will lead to charge balloon negatively due to the gain of electrons. Whereas, the hair is charged positively as it loses electrons. This will result in the attraction of the balloon and the hair strands. Each hair will repel but will get attracted to the balloon.
For Tisha, this will suffice as beyond this the information provided will become overload. I remind her of the term static electricity when seeing the hair standing up. She now knows the term. Whenever she looks at a balloon she will try rubbing on her hair to see the hair standing. That is really great to have fun with kids but teach them concepts.
We did this activity outdoors and shot some photos. Tisha loves to see photos and gives a picture-perfect pose. However, it differed from that we did at home with a mirror. Still, this was a different feel and fun too.
Check out our other static electricity experiment: Static Electricity Experiment with Balloon, Pepper and Salt
A balloon may suddenly burst or while blowing make lead to choking. So exercise caution when you let kids do this. Do not leave them alone. Be with them and monitor. Also, decide if it will suit their health condition and age. Provide them instruction and teach them safety along with science. Click for more details.