Basic Circuits to Pranks

Basic Circuits to Pranks

Learn the basics of littleBits and environmental sensors, then use that knowledge to prank your friends!

Duration: 1.5 – 3 hrs

Elementary (ages 8-10)
Middle School (ages 11-13)


littleBits Basics

motion trigger (1)
dc motor (1)
buzzer (1)
bend sensor (1)
long led (1)
light sensor (1)
bargraph (1)
button (1)
led (1)
power (1)
rgb led (1)
vibration motor (1)
pressure sensor (1)
servo (1)
sound trigger (1)
bright led (1)
mounting boards (1)
temperature sensor (1)
number (1)
markers (1)
Brick Adapter (1)
glue dots (1)
wheel (1)
mechanical arm (1)

Popsicle sticks 1
Rubber bands 1
glue sticks 1
Paper 1


STEP 1 : Intro to littleBits – 5 min

Teach the kids the basics of littleBits– how they snap together and how the color coding system works. Emphasize that you must begin w/ blue (b/c it provides power) and you must end w/ green (b/c that’s what actually produces lights/sounds/motion). Introduce the purpose of the pink bits to control the green ones and show that they must go before the green.

STEP 2 : Intro to environmental sensors – 10 min

Demonstrate again how pinks are used to turn on and off the greens w/ the button. Go over the environmental sensors. Ask kids where they might see the sensors in real life (i.e. light sensors are used on street lamps). For shorter lessons, limit the sensors used to the button, the light sensor, and the sound trigger.

STEP 3 : Prank demo: prank handshake

Build the prank handshake circuit w/ the kids. Ensure everyone understands how to snap bits together. Demonstrate how bits are made to be used w/ craft materials by rubber banding the circuit to your hand.

STEP 4 : Prank contest

Allow the kids to work either alone or in groups. Give them paper, pens, and some time to brainstorm before building. Encourage them to use available craft supplies and items w/in their environment such as chairs and tables. To guide their process, ask them whom they intend to prank, where, and what they want that person to feel. Leave time at the end for them to present and demo their pranks and to choose a winner.