This activity introduces making a paper circuit that describes our surroundings and activities. An example used in this guide is of a greeting card with a camera design that lights up with help from a simple circuit.

Learning goals

  • To learn to make and use simple circuits.
  • Develop communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills.

Activity Resources


Materials Required

  • Cardboard papers
  • Aluminium foil (alternatives: copper tape, aluminium wires)
  • LEDs
  • 3V batteries
  • A pair of scissors
  • Adhesive tape
  • Glue

Age Groups

This activity is suitable or recommended for ages 10 years & up.

Facilitation Tips

  • Before introducing the activity, demonstrate 2-3 simple and complex paper circuits. Ask questions while showing:
    • What is a circuit and what can you do with it?
    • How does the circuit in the display will work, or the light in it will glow?
    • How many types of circuits have you seen around you?
    • Where have you seen a similar circuit like the one shown in the project?
    • Where else have you seen LEDs and batteries used in this circuit?
  • Introduce the activity using the activity guide in a PDF format, demo video, and voice note.  You could encourage participants to make something using a paper circuit that describes a surrounding or an activity. It could portray an event or festival students like, their favorite artifacts at home or in school they attend, etc.
  • Encourage participants to use the paper circuit shown in the video only as a reference and personalize their creations.
  • Explain the workflow briefly for a series and parallel circuit. Talk about everyday examples (e.g., house wiring, Diwali/Eid lights, etc.) where a series and a parallel circuit are in action.
  • Motivate participants to try complex iterations on their project and personalize it even further by sharing demo video 2 (of a paper circuit home). As a  follow-up, ask if they can relate the demo video's circuit to a one they have seen in their home.

Browse through the facilitator guide for tips and tricks to engage participants in maker activities in a virtual or physical learning space.

View facilitator guide

Inspiring inventors

Jie Qi is an artist, educator, educator, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Chibitronics, a US-based company, and developer of circuit stickers for children to be able to learn electronics interactively and express their creativity through making playful electrical circuits.

PC: Exploratorium

Inspiring examples


Mihir Pathak, Learning Facilitator (Unstructured Studio)
Suchakra Sharma, Co-Designer (Unstructured Studio)
Contribute or request changes to activity materials