Everyone loves glow sticks, and children in particular find them irresistible. Glow sticks are guaranteed to be a hit at your party, but rather than just have glow sticks lying around, you can design activities, decorations, and even food using the glow sticks. You’ll fascinate and inspire all the kids.
Set up a glow-in-the-dark bowling alley
Get some bottles of water and glow sticks in different colors. You’ll need at least six bottles, and 10 if you want to play traditional 10-pin bowling. You’ll also need a ball to roll at your pins.
You can do this by simply setting up the water bottles in the grass and letting everyone have at it, or you can carefully mark out a flat pavement space and make it a more serious competition. Put a different glow stick color in each bottle or set up multiple lanes that all use one color.
For younger kids, traditional 10-pin scoring could be too much for their patience. Simplify the game by giving each child just one or two rolls and counting up how many pins they knock down. Set them up in teams by color for even more fun.
Decorate with glow jars
This look is just plain cool no matter what your theme. It’s particularly appropriate for some kind of under-the-sea or fairy queen style party, however. To achieve it, you’ll need some jars, glow sticks, rubber gloves to protect your hands, scissors, and some tulle in colors that match your glow sticks.
Cut a big piece of tulle for each jar. Next you’ll want the rubber gloves because you’re going to be cutting your glow sticks and adding the chemicals to your jars. You don’t want any on your hands.
Snip the end of your glow sticks while they’re already in the jar. Use only one color per jar and then shake the glow stick around. You’ll need three or four sticks per jar, and once all the material is in, just put on the lid and shake them up.
Serve glow stick cotton candy
This is another great thing to do if you have a fairy-themed party (in fact, in the UK they call cotton candy “fairy floss!”). You’ll need some white cotton candy, some larger glow sticks, and some gloves so that your hands don’t get sticky.
If you get LED glow sticks, you’ll get an even cooler effect. LED glow sticks come with varying flash modes and different colors, so your cotton candy will pulse. Simply wrap your cotton candy around the glow sticks instead of paper cones and start handing them out.
Use glow stick word art
You can use your glow sticks to spell out any words you like in bright, glowing neon. You’ll just need glow sticks, some clear tape for putting them up, and the right message.
It will take a bit of patience to craft each letter and spell it all out, but in the end, it will be worth it. You can use the glow stick message to welcome people to a party or spell out a statement like, “Happy Birthday.”
You can even use your glow stick words to craft messages directing the kids to different stations or to steps in a scavenger hunt. Just remember that the darker things are, the better your words will stand out.
Glow stick scavenger hunt
Speaking of a scavenger hunt, you can play an after-dark version of the game using the glow sticks. Get sticks in a couple of different colors and divide the children into teams. Each team is assigned a color.
Hide some glow sticks around the property, outfit each player with a bracelet in their team color, and then set the timer. The team that brings back the most glow sticks of their team color by the time the timer goes off wins.
Have an art contest
Kids love being creative with colors. During a daytime party, you can use sidewalk chalk; but at night try using glow sticks to release the kids’ creativity.
The kids can work all together on a massive work of art, in teams competitively, or on their own. Use glow sticks to define the boundaries of their “canvas” and then let them have at it.
You might need to illustrate for the kids how they can make designs with the glow sticks. Show them how to bend and arrange a few so they get the idea.
Make cool glowing cups
You can serve drinks in cups that glow in the dark. Of course it wouldn’t be safe to put the glow sticks right into the drinks, but if you can trust the kids won’t take apart their cups and put the glow sticks in their mouth, it’s fine.
All you need are some clear plastic cups and some glow sticks. Put a glow stick curled at the bottom of a cup, put another cup in on top, and then serve out the drinks!
Build glow stick lightning bugs
Kids are fascinated by lightning bugs, and you can let them make their own with some colored soda bottles, glow sticks, some pipe cleaners, some beads, and some card stock. You’ll also need glue and scissors.
Clean out the bottles and remove all the labels. Twist three pipe cleaners around the bottle at even intervals. The point where you twist them becomes the “legs.” Cut some cardstock to wrap around everything except the actual legs themselves and then glue this to the body.
Cut out wing shapes from more cardstock and glue these to the top of your lighting bug’s body. Glue beads to either side of the bottle’s cap for eyes and twist one more pipe cleaner around the neck to be antennae. Add a glow stick to the bottle and you’re done.
Make scary decorations
Whether your child just likes horror films or you’re throwing a Halloween party, you can use glow sticks to make things a bit creepy. Get white balloons and fill them with green glow sticks before tying them off.
Use a permanent marker to draw ghostly faces on the front of your balloons. You can do something similar with clear plastic party cups. Put the glow sticks underneath and then draw faces on the cups.
If you have a pool or pond, get some surgical gloves and put a blue glow stick in each. Then blow them up just a bit and tie them off. Leave them to float in the water like ghostly hands.
Glow sticks are an awesome way to liven up your party and ensure all the kids have a great time. These are just a few of the cool things you can do with these fun colorful party favors that will give your kids a party they’ll never forget.