There’s something about running around in the dark with flashlights that thrills kids of all ages. For your child’s next party, why not throw a glow-in-the-dark party? Don’t think you have to wait for your child’s next birthday or hurry to do a quick Halloween party to take advantage of this idea – this can also be the perfect activity for a fun sleepover. In fact, glow-in-the-dark parties are so much fun that you just might find yourself enjoying the party as much as the kids!
You can typically find glow-in-the-dark ink online and in some craft stores. To add a fun twist to party invitations and get the kids excited about the prospect of the glow-in-the-dark party, print some of the information regularly and then let your guests know that to find out more details about the party they’ll have to read the rest of the invitation in a dark place after letting the invitation sit in the light all day. You can also order glow in the dark invitations pre-made if you don’t have time to make them yourself.
Blow up balloons and insert a small cracked glow stick inside before tying them off. This will make the entire balloon glow. Also, fluorescent paint will glow under black light, so you can paint some inexpensive thrift store finds to use as decorations on your food table. Fill the house with other glow-in-the-dark items. String twinkle lights back and forth across the room so it’s not too dark. Buy fluorescent streamers that will glow under a black light as you string them around the room. Hang paper lanterns over the food table and insert glow sticks in them. Look around for the best deal on black light flashlights to use as party favors. (I've found them for as little as 5 for $12.) Give them out before the kids arrive for the party. Label each flashlight with the guest's name to avoid problems.
Buy some inexpensive T-shirts or tote bags and paint them with glow in the dark paint, which is available at most craft stores. These paints look good in the light or in the dark. Try your hand at making glow-in-the- dark slime as a party activity! Mix together 2 cups of water and ½ cup of Borax and shake to combine. In a separate container mix together equal parts white school glue and water. Add a few drops of glow-in-the- dark paint and some neon food coloring to the glue and water mixture. Divide into several batches for different colors. Then add a few drops of Borax solution at a time to the glue solution and stir. Keep adding and mixing until you have glow in the dark slime the consistency of toothpaste. There will be a little water left over in the slime, which you can dump out before playing with the slime. To make the slime thicker, add more Borax into the water at the beginning. Have name-labeled reclosable bags handy so the kids can store the slime to take home with them.
For drinks, you can serve anything that has tonic water in it, because tonic water glows under black lights.
Glow in the dark Jell-O is always a big hit. You can substitute half of the water that the recipe calls for with tonic water so that the Jell-O will glow under the black light. Everyone will get a kick out of eating glowing food.
Any neon colors will typically glow under a black light, so you can serve neon frosted cupcakes for dessert. Any other food that you would normally serve at a party will look extra spooky eaten in the dark.
This part is easy; just include anything that glows in the dark! There are so many toys that glow in the dark now that it’s not difficult to find a lot of fun, glow in the dark party favors. Glow in the dark parties are fun and quick to throw together. Next time you are looking for a party theme that is a little new and unusual try doing a glow in the dark party.
STEM connection: What makes glow-in-the-dark items actually glow? Some chemicals store energy when exposed to light. Those special substances are called phosphors. This type of glowing is sometimes called phosphorescence. Phosphors radiate visible light after being energized. This means you have to expose the items to light for a while before they will glow in the dark. Two of the most common phosphors found in glow-in-the-dark toys are zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate.
Happy STEM parenting!
Author: Renee Heiss