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Electricity & Circuits Activity for Kids

Coin Battery DIY

  • Duration: 30 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $10

Learn how to make a battery out of coins to power an LED!

Material List

  • 1Teaspoon of salt
  • 1Cup of water
  • 1Red LED light
  • 6Pennies
  • 6Zinc washers
  • 1Bowl of ¼ Cup of Vinegar
  • 1Piece of Construction Paper
  • 1Pen
  • 1Pair of scissors


  • 1In a bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of salt into ¼ cup of vinegar.
  • 2Soak the pennies in the salt/vinegar mixture for 5 minutes, then wipe them off.
  • 3Trace pennies on construction paper and cut them out to make 6 paper discs.
  • 4Soak the paper disks for 5 min in a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • 5To assemble the battery, stack the items in this order: coin, paper, washer, coin, paper, washer, and so on.
  • 6Hold the LED light’s long wire to the penny side of the stack, and the short wire to the zinc side of the stack.
  • 7Dim the light and your LED should light up!

How It Works

In this DIY you made a battery! Batteries convert chemical energy into electrical potential energy. That energy can be used to power a circuit, or in our case, an LED light. The more stacks there are, the higher the voltage of the battery and the brighter the light will be. The difference between a 1.5-volt battery and a 9-volt battery is how many stacks of chemicals they have inside.

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