There is something almost magical about glow sticks. Children love them and they are so much fun to play with. They are also fairly inexpensive, so grab a few packages and go have fun with your children. You will probably find that your children will quickly come up with their own ideas, so I would encourage you to follow their lead and play along. However, if you are looking for some inspiration I have found five ideas for you to enjoy.
- Gold Jellybean has a tutorial for making glow jars
- BCS Families suggest glow stick bowling
- Reading Confetti provides instructions for making glow in the dark fireflies. Don’t stop there, invite your children to make other pictures
- A Little Learning for Two shows you how to make a glow stick ring toss
- All Parenting has a list of outdoor activities for kids at night, including glow bracelet tag. You might adapt this to play hide and glow seek.
Other ideas would include
- Making jewelry and having a glow parade
- Spinning them in circles very fast
- Playing hide the glow stick
- Putting them inside balloons
- Floating them in a wading or swimming pool
If you have children who are interested in things scientific, this is a fun video about luminescence.
Oh and the highlighters really work. We had a black light at the library last year and provided some florescent highlighters. The children were thrilled to discover how well they worked! And the best thing? Under ordinary light you cannot see the marker.
A word of caution -Pinterest has a number of pins for activities involving glow sticks that look really impressive. Unfortunately a number of them don’t work very well. Some feature prominently on the famous “Pinterest Fail” or “Nailed It” lists. When I was researching for this post one idea that fell short over and over again was called “fairies in a jar.” Too bad as it looks enchanting. Sadly it seems that this idea doesn’t work as well as the photoshopped picture indicates! If you find something on Pinterest that looks like fun, you might want to test it first, so you don’t end up with disappointed children.
Glow sticks are labeled non-toxic. Still if you are doing something that requires you to break them open supervise carefully. Make sure the children do not get the liquid in their eyes or mouths.
Have you had fun with glow sticks? What activities would you recommend?
You can usually find glow sticks and florescent highlighters at your dollar store. If they are not available you can find them here.
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