We had a little party today in kindergarten! I had been waiting for a few months to be able to do this hands-on activity with my kindergarten classes and then with my own kids. Since it is the last week of school I thought it would be fun to have a special event. I set up centres that all used glow in the dark materials for students to play, experiment with and explore. Students were really excited upon entering the glow party room!
I turned the lights out when students entered and the room was quite dark – except I had the SmartBoard on with a screensaver (which looked great for glow in the dark) and some music. The SmartBoard provided some light for students to move safely around the room. I covered the desks with black table cloths to add to the party feel and I gave every student a glow in the dark bracelet. The bracelets looked great on students as they moved around a dark room. One of the most popular centres was the glow in the dark slime. I split it up into 4 bowls and let students explore the feel and look of the slime.
Another centre that looked amazing when entering the room was a building with glow sticks centre. I had a bunch of glow sticks on the table and some tubes with holes. Students were able to build creatures and structures using the sticks and tubes. Many students simply ended up attaching different colours together in a chain and building in this way. Either way it was fun to watch them building and interesting to see their reactions once the lights were turned on and realizing how different their creations looked in the light.
This was another centre that looked even better in the dark. I bought black water beads, but after hundreds of little hands played with them in our water table, they did not hold up as well as I had hoped. However, they still felt really interesting and worked well for our glow in the dark exploration. I added a bit of water and some boats. On the boats and in the water I added glow in the dark stones and a few glow bracelets. It was fun for students to feel around the beads to find the stones. It was great sensory exploration.
Another centre that I tried was using glow in the dark paint in large baggies. I encouraged students 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 students liked the feel of it, but this centre was not a busy one. After school, 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.
This was definately my favourite centre – I couldn’t help but play with it myself. I coloured a bunch of rice with dark food colouring (I just had the primary colours so I added a bunch of all of the colours together and then a bit extra of blue). 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.
I tend to try to sneak in some books when I do centres in kindergarten. For this centre, I was excited to introduce students to a new book called “The Human Body: A Shine-a-Light Book” by Carron Brown and Rachael Saunders. When you shine a light at the underside of the page a picture is visible of muscles, teeth and even a skeleton (as you can see below). It made my day that this centre was really popular and students took their time looking through the books. I had set out finger lights for students to use – which were a huge hit.
The final centre that I used was a Lite-Brite. It added some great light to the room and looks beautiful with the colourful pegs in it. Many students had used a Lite-Brite before so they had fun creating new pictures. I encouraged students 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 students commented that it felt like Halloween. When I do this glow party again, I would aim to do it around Halloween to tie into all of their homeroom activities.