Fun Things to do with Glow Sticks
Glow sticks are TONS of fun! In this hub you will learn lots of different, fun and unexpected ways to use glow sticks but first, have you ever wondered what causes a glow stick to glow? The glow is actually made from the mixing of two different chemicals inside the stick. One chemical is inside a very thin glass tube and the other is on the outside of the glass tube. When you bend the glow stick to activate the color, you are actually breaking the glass tube inside and allowing the two chemicals to mix. Once you bend the tube, start shaking it so you can mix the two chemicals thoroughly to get the best glow possible. This glow should last you a good 8 hours.
Much to my amazement, the chemicals used to make this light source are non-toxic. If by accident you bent the stick too much and the chemical inside started to leak out, just be sure to wash off your skin thoroughly because it can cause minor skin rash. Because the liquid continues to glow, even outside of the tube, I've heard of people busting them open to put the liquid on a t-shirt for a splotchy glowing effect but the liquid has very small shards of glass in it, so it probably isn't a good idea to do something like this and I sure wouldn't want that stuff in my mouth.
Since glow sticks are safe to use and because of my recent fascination with glow them, I've gathered LOTS of really neat uses for them and I have to say, some of these ideas are pretty awesome!
Take a Glowing Bath
Crack a few glow sticks to start the glow, throw them into the tub and start running the water. Shut the door, turn the light out and jump in. The glow sticks will be brighter than you think. You will be bathing in a spectacular glowing tub of water and this makes the bathroom into a beautiful glowing and relaxing atmosphere. You can even mix glow stick colors to make the glow a different color, like red and blue will make it glow purple according to Happy Home Fairy. Visit the link for more ideas. This activity is a good one and very popular for kids but I have to admit, I would love to give this one a try myself :) Oh, don't forget the bubbles!
Glow Stick Photography
With a regular digital camera, you can use glow sticks to take some very cool pictures! Have a friend or one of the kids spell their name in the dark with a glow stick. As they start, take a picture at the lowest shutter speed. It may take a little practice but you will be amazed when you see the glowing name in the photo. Do the same thing with shapes or whatever you want.. just be sure the camera is at the lowest shutter speed. Although you can still capture some cool pics with the light on, in the dark it's even better!
Glow Stick Games
Glowing Frisbee- After you have activated the glow, tape a glow stick necklace (without connector) directly in the middle of the Frisbee. Now you have a neon Frisbee to play with after dark!
Hide and Seek with Glow Sticks- The number of glow sticks you need depends on the number of people playing. Someone has to hide all the glow sticks in various places in the house. Then turn the light out and everyone goes to find the hidden glow sticks. This is a super fun activity for the kids!
Glow Stick Soccer- Tape some glow sticks firmly around a plastic ball.. Now give each team a certain color of glow sticks. For example, one team gets red and the other blue. Have each member wear their glow sticks. Go out to a dark field at night and play some socker or whatever game you like... using the glowing ball.
Glow Stick Tag- Have each player tie a glow stick loosely to their belt loop or some part of clothing. The person tagging people has to catch everyone and jerk the glow stick off of them. The last person with the glow stick on is the winner.
Glow Stick Scavenger Hunt- Similar to hide and seek above, this would be fun to do outside, too. Hide several glow sticks. Now everybody goes to look for the glow sticks. The person who found the most, wins a prize or you can add a star to one of the glow sticks and who ever finds the glow stick with the lucky star wins a prize.
Glow Stick Party Décor
Are you planning on having a party at night? At your next night party you can:
Kids Slumber Parties:
- Put glow sticks inside balloons and scatter them around the room for décor, hang them from the ceiling or play with glowing balloons! Go to A Little Learning for Two for more ideas.
- Tape some glow sticks to the ceiling fan for a neat light show!
- Make a pretty, glowing lantern out of any clear jar by cutting the end of the glow stick off and pour the contents in and shake it around. If you add water the glow will last longer. Place these all around the room. I saw this at Lil Blue Boo!
- Spray any sized jar with frosted spray paint and then add some glow sticks. This also makes a beautiful glowing lantern or night light.
- Make glowing drinking cups by taking two plastic cups, one clear and one opaque, and put a glow stick bracelet in the bottom of the opaque cup and then take the clear cup and stack it on top. Just add ice and sprite or some clear drink and you have a cool, glowing drink in your hand! For a better, photo illustrated tutorial, go to Mommy Savers!
- Wear glow sticks on your clothes, turn on some music, turn the lights off and dance!
Outside Parties/Pool Parties:
- Take small baby food jars or similar that have been sprayed with frosted paint and then drop a glow stick in.. sit these around in your yard at night for a sprinkling small glowing 'fairy' lights in the grass.
- Take white lunch bags and turn them upside down and gather up the bag a few inches from the top (which is actually the bottom) and put a rubber band around it. Fan out the top of the bag and shape it like a mushroom top. Add a glow stick below the rubber band and add another rubber band to keep the sacks gathered close to the glow sticks. Now stick them in the ground and take a look at all of the glowing mushrooms!
- Make the frosted lanterns (jar painted with frosted spray paint and add glow sticks) to scatter around outside or use as centerpieces on your tables outdoors.
- For a pool party you could float the balloons with glow sticks inside on the surface of the pool to create a glowing atmosphere on the water.
- You could also weigh down glow sticks by tying them to something heavy like a washer and drop them all over the bottom of the pool for beautiful glowing pool water from beneath or you could just let them float on top.
- Are you doing a Holiday party? Use red, white and blue glow sticks for the 4th of July, orange, green and purple for Halloween, green for St. Patrick's Day, etc..
- Use white glow sticks for weddings or pink for a girls party, etc..
- Make beautiful glowing centerpieces with water beads and a glow stick(s). To read more and see the tutorial go to Bicaostal Bride. I bet you could use marbles for this too.
Glow Stick Tips and Tricks
- When taking a large group of children to the movies, give each kid a glow stick necklace or bracelet. That way you can all keep up with each other in the dark movie theater.
- When skating or riding a bike in the dark, put some glow sticks around the top of the skates or the bicycle to keep yourself visible to others.
- Keep some glow sticks in your car for traveling in case the car breaks down in the dark. They are a great light source and will definitely come in handy.
- Keep some handy at home during storm season in case the electricity goes out.
- If you store glow sticks in the freezer while you are not using them, they will last longer.
- To make your glow sticks glow brighter put them in the microwave for no longer than 10 seconds. Be sure it's only 10 seconds because they will explode if you leave them longer. If you are scared of putting them in the microwave, run them under hot water. It's important to mention that although adding heat will cause them to be brighter, it slightly shortens the life of them.