Glow in the Dark Experiments and Activities - Owlcation - Education
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Glow in the Dark Experiments and Activities

glowinthedarkexperimentsandactivities

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. 

More Spooky Drink Ideas

  • Making Drinks with Dry Ice
    Using dry ice to make drinks is easy and entertaining. You can use dry ice to make root beer, sodas, spooky punches, and mysterious fogging, glowing drinks.

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.

Mentos Geysers

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

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. 

What do you think?

no on April 05, 2018:

good tip

nyams on November 02, 2016:

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

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

Katie Dillman on June 07, 2016:

Very fun Candace. Love the halloween ideas.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on February 18, 2013:

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

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on February 18, 2013:

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.

Erica on February 03, 2013:

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

Kizzy on July 29, 2012:

me, meant, some. big mistake

Kizzy on July 29, 2012:

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.

Kizzy from Ghana on July 29, 2012:

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.

Kizzy on July 29, 2012:

when i wrote address i meant email address and password

Kizzy on July 29, 2012:

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.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on July 28, 2012:

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.

Kizzy on July 27, 2012:

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

Kizzy on July 25, 2012:

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

Kizzy on July 25, 2012:

where can i get black light

kizzy on July 25, 2012:

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

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on June 02, 2012:

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

Paola ornelas on May 22, 2012:

i want to know how ro do that

dp on January 18, 2012:

i like the glow in the dark drinks.

sage&solana on November 13, 2011:

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?

demonya on November 08, 2011:

very neat

Rebecca Mealey on October 21, 2011:

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.

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on October 21, 2011:

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

Danette Watt from Illinois on October 21, 2011:

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

doodlebugs from Southwest on October 21, 2011:

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

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 17, 2011:

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 on October 17, 2011:

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

Carrie Smith from Dallas, Texas on October 17, 2011:

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 from Chicago Northwest Suburb on October 17, 2011:

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

TattooKitty from Hawaii on October 17, 2011:

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 from Portsmouth, NH on October 17, 2011:

Very cool! Great Hub! :)

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on October 17, 2011:

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.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on October 17, 2011:

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 from USA on October 17, 2011:

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!

Princess Pitt on October 17, 2011:

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

Thanks for sharing.!

Marissa from United States on October 17, 2011:

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!

Cindy A Johnson from Sevierville, TN on October 17, 2011:

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 from Bangalore on October 17, 2011:

nice glowing things ,Cocopreme

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on October 17, 2011:

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 on October 17, 2011:

Interesting!!

Can't wait to do it hand on XD

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

lavender3957 on October 17, 2011:

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

Melvin Porter from New Jersey, USA on October 17, 2011:

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

scratchbonus on October 17, 2011:

very inspiring.

thanks for sharing!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on October 17, 2011:

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

asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on October 17, 2011:

beautiful and unique idea keeep it up!

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on September 25, 2011:

Thanks!

Kellyyy!(: on September 25, 2011:

One word...AWESOMENESS!:D

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on September 16, 2011:

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

Bobby Mctrune on September 16, 2011:

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

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on August 29, 2011:

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

i love it on August 29, 2011:

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