This flying elf static electricity balloon STEAM challenge is super easy to set up and a great elf engineer activity for your Elf on the Shelf to bring!
This Christmas STEAM activity is so much fun and you can make all sorts of different shapes to test!
In the past, we’ve made zombies walk with static electricity, so my older girls and I decided to make one of our favorite activities into one for our Elf on the Shelf to set up for our younger Santa believers at our house!
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Flying Elf Static Electricity Materials
- Tissue Paper
- 1 balloon
- Permanent Marker
- Elf Template (click to download!)
You might also like:Magic Reveal Christmas Pixel Art Math + Technology Activity
Static Electricity Flying Elf STEAM Challenge
Cut out your elf template and use the template to trace the elf on tissue paper. I used a light board just to add some extra light to make sure I traced every part of the elf.
Then, I used a permanent marker over the pencil to make my elf really stand out!!
Blow up your balloon and then rub your balloon on your head against your hair.
Make sure your elf is lying flat on the table. Then, gently lower your balloon above the elf.
Hold on to your elf hats!
The static electricity will raise your elf up away from the board toward the balloon. Make sure to hold your balloon at a distance.
If your balloon is too close, it might stick. Just peel your elf off your balloon and try again. You will probably need to rub your head several times throughout the activity.
Pro Tip: We’ve done this activity a few more times. The best tip is to use tape to secure the end of the tissue paper to your surface. This will prevent your elf from sticking to the balloon too much!
The Science Behind Your Flying Elf
Static electricity is caused by an imbalance of positive and negative charges. When you rub the balloon against your hair, you create a negative charge that builds on the balloon.
The tissue paper responds to the negative charge as the balloon gets closer, which causes the tissue paper to rise.
If you liked this easy Christmas STEAM activity then you should check out our 25+ Elf on the Shelf STEAM Challenges: Become an Elf Engineer!
Elf Engineer STEAM Challenges
This activity is part of our Elf Engineer STEAM challenges. Grab your free printable by visiting the Elf Engineer hub page by clicking the image below!
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Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code
Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!
When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.
I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!
You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!