Glow in the Dark Experiments and Activities

Updated on May 30, 2016

Light up the night with these awesome glow in the dark activities and experiments.

Make glowing drinks and a glowing geyser. You can even make glow in the dark writing that is invisible in the day. Create sparks in the dark and glowing bubbles.

These experiments are great to use for parties or at Halloween. They are simple enough for kids to do, but cool enough to entertain everyone.

Turn off the lights and watch these experiments glow.

Making Sparks

Materials:

Wintergreen Lifesavers candy

Mirror (or a friend to help with the experiment)

Wintergreen Lifesavers make sparks when they are crunched.  Begin by practicing chewing the candy with your mouth open.  This could be difficult for people with good table manners.  When you get the open-mouthed chewing technique down, set up the mirror so you can watch for sparks as you chew.  You can also do the experiment with a friend.  The two of you will need to stand face to face with a few inches in between you.  Make sure you can see each other’s mouths as you chew the candy. 

Now turn off the lights and make sure the room is good and dark.  Pop the wintergreen Lifesavers into your mouth and begin chewing them with your mouth open.  You should see bluish or blue-green sparks as the candy is crunched. 

These sparks happen when the sugar and the wintergreen oil in the candy are grinded together by your teeth.  It creates a small electrical charge.  The spark is called triboluminescence.            

Glowing Drinks

Tonic water glowing under a black light
Tonic water glowing under a black light

Glowing Drinks

Tonic water glows when black lights are used because of the quinine used to make it. Set up black lights and serve tonic water for glowing drinks. You can also use tonic water ice cubes in drinks.

For eerie glowing decorations, pour tonic water into test tubes and beakers. Set them under black lights to look like strange experiments.

Substitute tonic water for regular water and make glowing jello.  Mix bugs in it to make glowing swamp juice. 

Glow in the Dark Geyser

Materials:

Black light

Bottle of tonic water

Pack of regular Mentos candy

Piece of paper or geyser tube (pictured at right)

This experiment works just like normal Mentos geysers except it glows in the dark. Tonic water is substituted for the soda to produce the eerie glow. Make sure quinine is listed in the ingredients of the tonic water. Any size bottle will work. If you are using a geyser tube, make sure the tube will fit the mouth of the bottle.  Or you can pour tonic water into an empty 2-liter bottle.

Set up the black light. Place it so that it is shining on the tonic water but won’t get soaked by the geyser. Put a piece of clear plastic over it if necessary. Take the label off the bottle for a better glow effect. Drop the Mentos into the bottle all at once using the geyser tube or a piece of paper rolled into a tube. You will have an eerie, glowing geyser.

Glow in the Dark Ideas

Spooky Glowing Writing

Petroleum jelly glows under a black light.
Petroleum jelly glows under a black light.

Glow in the Dark Writing

Materials:

Black light

Petroleum jelly

Clothing detergent with bleach

Latex gloves (optional)

Petroleum jelly glows eerily under a black light.  You can use it to write spooky messages.  Use your finger or a paint brush to write a message on mirrors, windows, paper, or anywhere else you want your message to appear.  In normal light it will be nearly invisible.  When a black light is turned on, your writing will glow.  You can write Happy Halloween, boo!, or draw creepy shapes like ghosts or pumpkins. 

You can make your hands glow under a black light also.  While wearing latex gloves, coat your hands with petroleum jelly.  This is great to do when you are telling ghost stories. 

Clothing detergent that has bleach added will also glow under black lights.  Write messages with it for glow in the dark effects.  Make glow in the dark footprints and handprints. 

Glow in the Dark Slime

Make glow in the dark slime.  It is eerie and icky.  Follow the link below for directions to make homemade slime.  To make it glow in the dark, simply substitute tonic water for regular water in the recipes.  Don't forget the black light.  So turn off the lights and mix up some spooky slime.

Glowing Slime

Icky slime that glows
Icky slime that glows

Poll

Are you afraid of the dark?

See results

Glow Powder

Glow powder is zinc sulfide that is made into a fine powder.  It glows under a black light.  You can mix it into paint and draw spooky glow in the dark pictures.  Make glow in the dark slime by adding in some powder to slime.  Or even dust it onto pumpkins to make them glow.  Use the powder to make a homemade glow in the dark lava lamp.  Learn about fluorescence while having fun making things glow.      

Glow in the Dark Bubbles

Kids will love to play with glowing bubbles. You can buy pre-made glow in the dark bubble solution or you can make your own.

To make your own, mix washable glow in the dark paint with regular bubble solution. Start with a mixture that is about half bubbles, half glow paint. Add more paint or bubbles if needed.

This is an activity best done outdoors.  Cleanup indoors could get messy. 

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        no 

        5 months ago

        good tip

      • profile image

        nyams 

        22 months ago

        This really helps,thanks a bunch!!!!!!!!

        I have to try them all one day.....

      • profile image

        Katie Dillman 

        2 years ago

        Very fun Candace. Love the halloween ideas.

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        5 years ago from Far, far away

        Erica - Yes. They will work under a black light. In fact, the black light will make them easier to see.

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        5 years ago from Far, far away

        Kizzy - There are things that will glow without a black light, but they would also cost money. There is glow in the dark paint or other things that have chemicals in them to make them glow.

      • profile image

        Erica 

        5 years ago

        will the glow in the dark ideas work under blacklights too??

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        me, meant, some. big mistake

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        what are me of the things that glows under black light. it is the person who writes tooooo many comments and asks toooo many questions.

      • profile image

        Kizzy from Ghana 

        6 years ago

        i wish most things glow by their own in darkness. i am sorry for the way i spoke to you about being impatient. where can i also get glow in the dark paint . i have seen some online but i do not buy them. i guess i should not worry cuz my aunt may be able to get some. what is far far away, by the way . Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool expirements by the way! i also wonder why you celebrate Halloween.Thank you. Your BEST BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGEST FAN! i also wonder if you could find experiments (glow in the dark) that do not need black light cuz that is my biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigest problem in the expirement.

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        when i wrote address i meant email address and password

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        there is actually a problem i do not go online that is because i do not have an adress and money and i am not an American.

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        6 years ago from Far, far away

        kizzy - You can order black lights online. Stores like Wal-Mart will usually carry them, especially as it gets closer to Halloween. I will keep the idea of doing an article on the glow in the dark jewelry in mind for the future. Hope that answers your question.

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        i need my answer . you know what i am the type who is impatient

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        please could you show on hubpages how the glow in the dark jewelry is made

      • profile image

        Kizzy 

        6 years ago

        where can i get black light

      • profile image

        kizzy 

        6 years ago

        i would love to try it prob is that i do not have black light

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        6 years ago from Far, far away

        Paola ornelas - Mainly with just a black light. Most of the stuff just glows on its own.

      • profile image

        Paola ornelas 

        6 years ago

        i want to know how ro do that

      • profile image

        dp 

        6 years ago

        i like the glow in the dark drinks.

      • profile image

        sage&solana 

        6 years ago

        that stuff is cool but we have a better idea.

        try doing.... how do glow sticks glow and why do things glow under ultra-violet lights?

      • profile image

        demonya 

        6 years ago

        very neat

      • profile image

        Rebecca Mealey 

        6 years ago

        Wow, I loved this. How unique. I think I will save these for I'm-bored-what-can-I-do-now days with the Kids.

      • midnightbliss profile image

        Haydee Anderson 

        6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

        cool ideas for the Halloween. kids will surely be super excited with these activities.

      • Danette Watt profile image

        Danette Watt 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        Very cool! Loved the eyeball bit on the video. Sending this on to my niece and congrats on Hub of the Day!

      • doodlebugs profile image

        doodlebugs 

        6 years ago from Southwest

        These will be fun for the kids to try this Halloween.

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        Congrats on getting Hub of the Day! This is a great topic for a hub. These suggestions are all great for kids and for any type of casual party held at night.

      • Moon Willow Lake profile image

        Moon Willow Lake 

        6 years ago

        Thank-you! I really love blacklight and glow-in-the-dark effects so thanks for more ideas!

      • applecsmith profile image

        Carrie Smith 

        6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        This is so cool. I totally want to try making some tonic water ice cubes. Congrats on being the hub of the day! Well deserved.

      • Frannie Dee profile image

        Frannie Dee 

        6 years ago from Chicago Northwest Suburb

        Wow, this is very cool! Thanks for writing this interesting Hub!

      • TattooKitty profile image

        TattooKitty 

        6 years ago from Hawaii

        Kudos for being the Hub of the Day!! This is a brilliant project for Halloween! Thanks for the great ideas;) I also like breaking open glow sticks and squirting the liquid everywhere. The fluid is non-toxic and will disappear after a few hours or so. Warning- it may stain your clothes!

      • Molly Kathleen profile image

        Molly Kathleen 

        6 years ago from Portsmouth, NH

        Very cool! Great Hub! :)

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        6 years ago from Far, far away

        What a surprise today! I am honored and thrilled this hub was chosen as Hub of the Day.

        Thank you everyone for the comments.

        Arlynne - That is a good point. Be careful not to let your kids eat anything that could be toxic.

        T Pei Zhi - You can change the color of the slime with food coloring, but it will still glow the bluish color because of the tonic water. You can make slime and then drop a glow stick in it for different colors.

        To everyone else - Thank you and I hope you all enjoy these ideas. Halloween is the perfect time for some spooky glowing fun.

      • DzyMsLizzy profile image

        Liz Elias 

        6 years ago from Oakley, CA

        Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Good job!

        Some great fun-sounding ideas, here. I'm sending a link to my daughter--I have no doubt the grandkids will have a blast with any of these ideas.

        As a former Girl Scout troop leader, I was familiar with the spooky, sparky candy. It was a favorite stunt at campouts. Everyone would stand in a circle, and crunch their lifesavers. Thanks for the fun reminder.

        Voted up, interesting, funny, and awesome!

      • Stephanie Henkel profile image

        Stephanie Henkel 

        6 years ago from USA

        These ideas are SO cool! Every kid I've ever known would love them, including me! Congratulations on your well-deserved Hub of the Day! Now, I need to find some kids so I have an excuse to do some glow in the dark writing... Voted up!

      • profile image

        Princess Pitt 

        6 years ago

        Wow, that's super cool. I'd love to try that...

        Thanks for sharing.!

      • ThePracticalMommy profile image

        Marissa 

        6 years ago from United States

        My son would love these experiments.What a great way to make the dark seem fun! Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the Hub of the Day!

      • Esmeowl12 profile image

        Cindy A Johnson 

        6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

        What fun ideas! I wish I had known about these when I was teaching. My students would have loved them. Thanks for the cool hub.

      • vasantha  T k profile image

        vasantha T k 

        6 years ago from Bangalore

        nice glowing things ,Cocopreme

      • homesteadbound profile image

        Cindy Murdoch 

        6 years ago from Texas

        This is really cool. It's things like this that bring out the kid in me.

        Congrats on the hub of the day.

      • T Pei Zhi profile image

        T Pei Zhi 

        6 years ago

        Interesting!!

        Can't wait to do it hand on XD

        but is there anyway to change the colour of the glowing slime??

      • profile image

        lavender3957 

        6 years ago

        Awesome, thanks for sharing. Sure to be a hit this years Halloween party.

      • melpor profile image

        Melvin Porter 

        6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

        Cocopreme, very interesting and informative hub. I got to try these experiments one day. Thanks for sharing.

      • scratchbonus profile image

        scratchbonus 

        6 years ago

        very inspiring.

        thanks for sharing!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        6 years ago from Germany

        Beautiful!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

      • asmaiftikhar profile image

        asmaiftikhar 

        6 years ago from Pakistan

        beautiful and unique idea keeep it up!

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        6 years ago from Far, far away

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        Kellyyy!(: 

        6 years ago

        One word...AWESOMENESS!:D

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        Science can be awesome, especially when it is hands on. Mad science experiments are so fun you don't even realize it is learning.

      • profile image

        Bobby Mctrune 

        7 years ago

        Wow I hated science soooo much but now I love it using these ideas !!!!

      • cocopreme profile imageAUTHOR

        Candace Bacon 

        7 years ago from Far, far away

        It's amazing to see kids get excited about science. I'm glad your kids loved it. Cool!

      • profile image

        i love it 

        7 years ago

        my kids loved the glowing slime i have 5 kids they think it's awesome and cool.

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