Electrical Circuits Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Circuit Board Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Electrons & Electricity
  • 0:39 Circuits
  • 1:17 Electrical Circuits
  • 2:06 Switches: Turning…
  • 2:39 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever wondered why flipping a light switch turns on the light? In this lesson, you'll learn about electrical circuits and what makes them work.

Electrons & Electricity

How do you make electricity? First, you must have electrons. The word 'electron' was made from the words 'electric' and 'ion.' An electron is a tiny charged part of an atom. When a stream of electrons moves through a conductor, you get electricity.

A conductor is anything that allows the flow of electrons to go through it. Common conductors include wires made of certain metals, such as copper, aluminum, gold, and silver. Materials that don't allow electricity to flow through them easily are called insulators. Rubber, wood, air, plastic, and glass are common insulators.

Circuits

The electrons have to travel, which they do in an electrical circuit. The origin of the word 'circuit' is the Latin word circuitus, which means 'circular motion.' It's kind of like a running track around a football field: if you keep running, you will end up right back where you started.

Like a circle, the path of a circuit has to end at the same point at which it started, so that there are no gaps. This is called a closed circuit. If there's a gap in the circuit, the electrons can't continue on, so the circuit is broken. This is called an open circuit. Think about a train track that you might put under your Christmas tree. If there's a piece of the track missing, the train can't make a complete loop or circuit.

Electrical Circuits

To make an electrical circuit, you need to have several things. First, you need a power source, such as a battery. The power source gives the force that makes the electrons move. You also need a conductor, such as wires. The conductors will make the path through which the electrons will move. Finally, you need an electrical appliance, such as a light bulb or fan, that will use the electricity.

To set up your electrical circuit, remember that the circuit must be a closed circuit so that the electrons can keep moving. The battery will have two ends, called terminals. One end is positive, and one is negative. You need to attach a wire, your conductor, to each terminal of the battery.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support