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Magnets & Static Electricity Activity for Kids

Static Levitation DIY

  • Duration: 30-60 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Make an object appear to float using static electricity!

Material List

  • 1Cotton towel
  • 1Scissors
  • 1Balloon
  • 1Plastic produce bag (must be very thin)


  • 1Cut a strip from the open end of the plastic bag.
  • 2Inflate and tie the balloon.
  • 3Lay the strip of plastic on the table and rub it with the towel.
  • 4Separately, rub the balloon with the towel.
  • 5Hold the balloon still in one hand and toss the plastic above the balloon ... it floats!
  • Tip:This works best on a dry day and can be difficult on a humid day or in humid climates.

How It Works

When two different materials rub against each other, they become electrically charged - one becomes positive, and the other becomes negative. Opposite charges ATTRACT and like charges REPEL. The balloon and plastic have the same charge, which causes them to repel (move away from each other).

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