science and Technology

Static Electricity Snakes


Static electricity is great for science experiments; it’s easy to create, is safe and can be used in many different ways. We’ve used static electricity to bend water, make tissue paper jump up to a balloon and create some crazy hairstyles!

These static electricity snakes use tissue paper like my jumping frogs, but this time the tissue paper is cut into a snake shape. When a ruler charged with static electricity is placed over the snake, it can be pulled upwards.

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How to make static electricity snakes

You’ll need

Tissue paper


Woolly jumper or hair

Felt tip pen


Carefully cut a snake spiral out of the tissue paper, this can be any size you want.

Decorate the snake with eyes and other patterns.

Rub the ruler on your hair or a woolly jumper for about 30 seconds.

Hold the ruler over the head or tail of the snake and watch it jump towards the ruler.

You can keep moving the tissue paper with the ruler until the charge wears off.

Why does this work?

When the ruler is rubbed on hair or a jumper, it causes tiny particles to move from the jumper to the ruler.

The extra particles on the ruler cause a build-up of static electricity, which attracts the tissue paper.

If you want a more in-depth explanation, head to my What is static electricity? article.

Extension task

Try rubbing the ruler on other materials to see how easily the ruler gains a static charge. Wool and synthetic fabrics tend to be the best to use for creating static electricity.

Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by Emma VanstoneThe post Static Electricity Snakes appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.