Glow in the Dark Experiments and Activities
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.
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.
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
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.
- Fizzles, Explosions, and Eruptions: Simple Science Experiments Gone Mad
More information about making Mentos geysers. How to make other exploding, erupting, and fizzling experiments.
Glow in the Dark Ideas
Spooky Glowing Writing
Glow in the Dark Writing
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.
- How to Make Slime
Nothing says disgusting fun like slime. This Halloween make a squishy goo by using these simple recipes for slime. Your kids will be able to make most of these in about 15 minutes or less. There are 4 different recipes for slime using various ingredi
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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.
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