A Christmas card that lights up? Why not! This easy step-by-step article on how to make your DIY light-up card for the holidays has all kinds of festive feels. Get creative with your bubs and learn a few cool things about science, technology, engineering and art along the way as well. Check it out!
Light up your holidays with a DIY light-up Christmas card. This parent-child activity works in two folds. First, it brings out the creative best in your kids as they make their own Christmas cards and second, it is a fun way to teach your kids the application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Art (STEM)! The activity will also demonstrate one of the quickest and most engaging ways to teach kids the basics of electronics through paper circuits.
So, here’s how you can make some light up cards for the holidays. Let’s get started!
Age: 8 yrs+
Activity Duration: 30 mins – 1 hour
Step 1 – What do we need
Let’s start with the materials. Some of the materials have links on where you can purchase them online. You can also find these at your local electronics stores. (If you are in Bangalore – take a trip to Om Electronics in SP Road!)
- Copper Tape
- 3V Battery
- Scotch Tape, Scissors, Pens and colour pencils/crayons (for decorating your card)
Step 2 – Templating
Draw the circuit shown on the inside of the card. You can also print out this template (A4 size) and use it.
Step 3 – Let’s start making the circuit!
First take the copper tape, you will notice that it has a removable tape on one side that makes the copper tape sticky on one side. Take this tape and stick it on the lines on the circuit that you just drew.
Next, take the positive of the battery – you will notice that there is a plus mark on one side of the battery – and stick some copper tape to it. Stick the battery onto the tape on the battery mark on the drawing.
Finally, we need to add the light. We need to make sure that the positive of the LED gets connected to the positive of the battery and the negative of the LED to the negative of the battery.
The positive of the LED is the longer leg, and the shorter is the negative. The drawing has a marking on how the LED should be placed as well.
Once you place the LED on the copper tape – you can put scotch tape on top to stick it in place.
And voila – it’s done. If you now fold along the dotted line on the bottom right corner and press on the battery – you will see the circuit light up.
Step 4 – Add a hole to the card
Once the circuit is complete, fold the card in half so that the circuit is on the inside. It is important to add a hole in the front of the card, so that the LED can come through to the front. You can do this using a sharp needle and scissors. Parents – it’s best to help your kids with this part, as it can get tricky!
Step 5 – Make it yours!
This is the final and most enjoyable step. Decorate the card! Use the LED as inspiration, and make a one eyed-monster, or a bright star, a firefly, or even a light up cap.
You can also follow all the steps in the below, and add your own creative take to it! Have fun with this part, and remember – go crazy and draw up your wildest imagination.