Kids love things that glow in the dark! Personally, I love the look of small bursts of light in the darkness. If you are looking for a creative party idea, a glow party is a great idea! Below are 7 glow party ideas that I used with over 100, 3-6 year olds and again at home with my (older) kids.
I threw a glow party today in class! I had been waiting for a few months to be able to do this hands-on activity at school and then with my own kids at home.
Since it is the last week of school before the holidays, I thought it would be fun to have a special event. These ideas would also work well for a DIY birthday party at home!
I set up centres that all used glow in the dark materials for children to play, experiment with and explore. I split the class into small groups of 4-5. The kids were really excited upon entering the glow party room!
I turned the lights so that when the kids entered the room was quite dark – except I had the screensaver on my computer with a cool design – which looked great for a glow party.
I also had some music playing – it was a party after all!
The computer provided some light for children to move safely around the room. I covered all of the desks with black table cloths to add to the party feel and I gave every child a glow in the dark bracelet.
The bracelets looked great on the kids as they moved around a dark room.
Glow Party Centres
Glow Party Idea #1
One of the most popular centres was the glow in the dark slime that I purchased. I split it up into 4 bowls and let children explore the look and feel of the slime.
Playing with slime is a great sensory activity for kids. However, I love the added experience of the slime being glow in the dark and the kids did too.
Glow Party Idea #2
Another centre that looked amazing when entering the room was a building with glow sticks centre. This centre is also really easy to create and allows children to create and build – but in the dark!
I placed a bunch of glow sticks on the table and some recycled paper tubes that I had hole punched. The more building material you can provide, the better.
I found that I did not give kids enough paper rolls because they created really quickly. Next time, I would make sure to set out at least 5 rolls for each child.
Children were able to build creatures and structures using the sticks and tubes. Many students simply ended up attaching different colours of glow sticks together in a chain and building in this way.
Each time we switched to the next centre, I turned on the lights to help children move around safely. It was also interesting for children to see what they had been working on in the light. The structures never quite looked as interesting with the lights on.
Glow Party Idea #3
This was another centre that looked even better in the dark! I added black water beads to a water table (you can simply use a bucket or bath tub if you do this glow party at home).
I then added some glow in the dark stones and small boats.
The kids loved the feel of the black water beads, but after hundreds of little hands playing with them in our water table, they did not hold up as well as I had hoped.
Many of them broke apart, which made the water looked really dirty. (It is actually just pieces of black water beads, not dirt or mold.)
If I were to do this centre again, I would use black or dark blue food colouring to color the water. However, the water beads still felt really interesting and worked well for our glow in the dark exploration.
The children really enjoyed this centre and it was fun for students to feel around the beads to find the stones. It was great sensory exploration.
Glow Centre Idea #4
Another centre that I tried was glow in the dark painting. I added glow in the dark paint to large baggies.
I encouraged children to use the glow sticks to draw on the baggie and scratch around to make pictures.
As much fun as it seemed, the paint did not glow as well as I had hoped so children liked the feel of it, but this centre was not one of the most popular.
Some of the glow in the dark materials require light on it first and then it will glow in the dark. The longer it is in the light, the brighter it glows. Just something to keep in mind.
After school, when I brought my own kids back to the school to see the glow in the dark room, they really liked the paint bags, but seemed to prefer drawing on them when the lights were on.
Glow Party Idea #5
This was definitely my favourite centre – I couldn’t help but explore it myself. I colored a bunch of rice with dark food coloring.
For the rice, I only had the primary colours so I added a bunch of all of the colours together and then a bit extra of blue. It worked well and the black rice was perfect for our glow party!
I added some glow in the dark stones, play figures and wood slices that I painted with the glow in the dark paint.
Students had fun digging through the rice to find the figures and stones and just to feel the rice. I made some extra rice for my kids to use at home because it was so easy and great sensory activity.
Glow Party Idea #6
I tend to try to sneak in some books when I do centres at work. I love reading and really try to instill this in my own kids, and the kids I teach.
For this centre, I was excited to introduce children to a new book called “The Human Body: A Shine-a-Light Book” by Carron Brown and Rachael Saunders.
This is one of the coolest, interactive books I have ever seen! When you shine a light at the underside of the page a picture of muscles, teeth and even a skeleton (as you can see below) appears. There is a whole series of these books!
I added some other fun books that I thought kids may enjoy and left a collection of finger lights at the centre. It made my day that this centre was really popular at our glow party and children took their time looking through the books.
The finger lights to read with were were a huge hit!
Glow Centre Idea #7
The final centre that I used was a Lite-Brite. It is a really simple idea and did not require any prep from me, but it is one of my kids favourite toys that I wanted to introduce to my students at school.
It added some great light to the room and looks beautiful with the colourful pegs in it. Many children had used a Lite-Brite before and they had fun creating new pictures.
I encouraged children to make sure to take time to explore all of the centres, if only for even a few minutes. It was a great day! When doing the activities, a few children commented that it felt like Halloween.
This glow party is perfect to try out for class parties, birthday parties, Halloween or even celebrations like New Year’s Eve!
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Looking for More Ideas?
If you are looking for more hands-on activities to do with kids at home, or in the classroom, take a look at some of my most popular activities below.