Building a house with circuits & LittleBits

It’s school holidays and my 8 year old wanted to build a Gingerbread-style house. She carried all of her arts & crafts supplies to the kitchen and asked me to help her make it. We made the house out of cardboard. I helped her measure & cut-out the walls and then she added colour.

The structure of the house was stabilised with support beams across the walls & roof

Structure of house was stabilised with support beams across the walls & roof

Since it was quite large the walls fell-in a bit and the roof line was not stable. We sat there talking about how we might stabilise the house and then with the help of Dad we added beams across the walls and the roof line. We also decided to not stick the roof on because we wanted easy access to the inside of the house. When you look through the door you can see my daughter’s drawing of Santa.

Santa is in the house; Xmas tree in the back right & girl sleeping on left

Santa is in the house; Xmas tree in the back right & girl sleeping on left

My daughter was very happy with her house but I encouraged her to add lights!  🙂  First we had to learn about simple circuits, parallel circuits and how to connect LEDs.

8 year old daughter created her first simple circuit using conductive tape, battery & LED

8 year old daughter created her first simple circuit using conductive tape, battery & LED

Once she understood how the circuits worked we added 2 parallel circuits to her house. The parallel circuit on the left-side seemed really weak after a few lights were added. But the parallel circuit we added on the right-side went up along the house and across the front of the house (on the inside). This allowed us to add some lights on the front of the house. My daughter loved testing the LEDs first and she found that the white & blue ones were the weakest, so we avoided using them.

Parallel circuit running over the wall & on the inside

Parallel circuit running over the wall & on the inside

Ta da! Looks great in the evening

Ta da! Looks great in the evening

Ah but that’s not all! My daughter also loves using LittleBits and so we decided to add a touch sensor on the side of the house. When you touch the touch sensor Santa vibrates and lights turn on around him. She LOVES her house! But after we were done she said it would be better if we made Santa’s legs vibrate out of the chimney on the roof; sounds like a job for her & Daddy!

Santa IMG_0600 IMG_0593 IMG_0592

9 comments on “Building a house with circuits & LittleBits

  1. Marg says:

    WANTED
    One engaging Mother …You!

    Like

  2. Bronwen Jones says:

    Awesome work girls, what a great activity for learning & celebrating Christmas!

    Like

  3. […] old girl make a parallel circuit with 2 LEDs. We left soon after the circuit introduction since my kids already learned about circuits previously. He did learn some nice pneumatic and hydraulic movement tricks using 2 syringes connected with a […]

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  4. […] I could imagine possibly having young students study urbanisation where the class build roadways, houses & buildings using cardboard, paper, maybe some LittleBits and circuits and then get the ozobots to navigate around their city.  I have also seen similar ideas using […]

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  5. elketeaches says:

    Reblogged this on elketeaches and commented:

    You want a fun, hands-on and engaging lesson idea that includes learning about circuits? Try paper circuits! It’s relatively cheap and it’s been a hit with all age levels in the classroom, at parties and at home. This is one of my old posts that I refer friends and educators to often.

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