How to make: Conductive dough for Squishy Circuits

Using conductive dough as a tactile substitute for wire, students play and experiment with components to discover for themselves how a circuit works. This forms the basic understanding of electronics and a great launchpad into other more complex ideas.
Squishy Circuits has no age limit – I have done lessons with Primary through to Secondary students.

What we're learning

arrow_forward LEDs and batteries have a positive and a negative side. This is called polarity.

arrow_forward When a negative and positive path touch it creates a short circuit, this means the circuit will not work.

arrow_forward When a circuit is closed it will allow electricity to pass through meaning the circuit will work.

An open circuit will not work.


1 1/2C Plain Flour

1/4c Salt

3Tb Cream of Tartar

1Tb Vegetable Oil

Food colouring

1C Water

Lets do this


Combine the ingredients in a pot over a medium heat.  Reserve 1/2C flour for the kneading process at the end.

Continuously stir the mix as it begins to boil and form lumps


Keep stirring until it forms a ball in the centre of the pot then turn it out onto a floured surface.

Flatten it out and let it cool down for 2-3 minutes.

Be careful – the mix will be very hot!


Using the reserved flour start to knead the mix, slowly sprinkling in flour until it reaches the right dough consistency.

Leave to cool to room temperature and then store in an airtight container.


The dough should last up to 3 weeks. If you need to keep it for longer at the beginning stage add 4-6 drops of dishwashing liquid to add an antibacterial to it.


Once the dough is cooled  its ready to use.

Over time the salt in the mixture will cause the LED legs and battery connectors to oxidize.
I recommend keeping a stash of both purely for squishy circuits

Materials for Squishy circuits tinkering

9V Battery and connector wires (alternatively 2xAA batteries & holder)


3V Wired Buzzer