When you are building your first circuits, it is generally a good idea to keep things relatively simple. This allows you to get a better look at the various parts of the circuit so you can see how each of the items on the board work. You can eventually start to move on to complicated projects as you gain more knowledge.
Example 1: A Simple Circuit
Here is one of the simplest circuits you can make. You will need to have a 10V bulb, a bulb holder, and a 9V battery, as well as two lengths of wire. Choose different colored wires. Red and black will work well.
First, screw the bulb into the bulb holder.
Next, use a wire stripper to remove the coating on the ends of your wires. You should remove about an inch from each of the sides of the wire.
Take the red wire and connect one end of it to the positive terminal on the 9V battery. Connect the other end to the center of the bulb holder. Then, take the black wire and connect one end to the negative terminal on the battery, and connect the other end to one of the sides of the bulb holder. In most batteries, including car batteries, red stands for positive and black for negative, so it makes sense to use these wires in a similar manner.
As soon as you attach those wires, your bulb will light up. It does not get much easier than this.
Example 2: A Little More Advanced Circuit
It is possible to create circuits that have a little bit more going on as well. This one has a few more parts and pieces, but it is still something you can accomplish relatively easily and quickly.
The simple circuit here will have just a few parts – a battery (9V), a resistor, and an LED, a breadboard that doesn’t have any solder on it, 470 Ω, 1/4 W resistor, a 9V battery snap connector, and about an inch of jumper wire. These components are relatively easy to gather, and you can build this circuit in no time.
To build the circuit, connect the battery snap connector by inserting the red lead into the top bus strip on the board and the black lead into the bottom bus strip. It does not matter which hole you choose.
Then, connect the LED. One of the leads will generally be shorter than the other one is. Take the short lead and put that one into one of the holes in the top bus strip. The longer lead will go into the terminal strip. Make sure the LED and the resistor are in the same row.
Next, take the length of jumper wire and connect the two terminal strips in the middle of the breadboard. Place one piece of the wire into the bottom terminal and the other into the top terminal.
At that point, the LED will light up and you will have completed your circuit.