Glow Bath: Good Clean Fun!

Want to do a little experimenting with light, allow your child some sensory play time, and be sure they’ve washed behind their ears all at the same time?  Try this fun and simple activity: a glow bath!  Draw a warm bath.  Add bubbles if you like.  Bend some glow sticks into life.  Dim the lights.  Add some kids, and let the fun begin!

We had some packs of glow bracelets in the art supply cabinet that had been there for months because it’s just not that often that the kids are playing when it’s dark out.  The glow sticks happened to catch my eye one night that DH was going to be home from work late.  So, that’s when the idea struck to make a glow bath!  We get our glow bracelets from Michael’s craft store; 15 bracelets cost ~$1.

L&L thought it was great fun.  They were a little unsure at first.  “A bath in the dark?”  But they quickly warmed up to the idea and started having fun.

We found that if you moved the glow sticks fast enough through the air, they sort of created a lasting blur of light, similar to a sparkler.  

We held them up close to other objects in the dark to illuminate them.  

We found their light reflected off the metal faucet parts like a mirror.  

We played a game where L&L would keep their hands on top of their heads until I tossed all the glow sticks into the tub, and then they’d race to see who could grab the most.  They’d each take turns counting how many they found.  

We even did a little light saber battling, though my kids have no idea what Star Wars even is!

Let’s just say the bath water was quite cold when they were finally ready to climb out and get ready for bed!

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I am a majorly novice photographer, and without DH at home the night we did this activity, I could not for the life of me figure out how to photograph our play in the dark.  So, for now, you will have to suffice with me simply telling you it was loads of fun and look at the few blurry swirls of light I did manage to capture.  Yup, that was the best I could do.  But never fear, there will be a next time and I will master photographing in the dark!  Stay tuned!

While this glow bath play idea is about as simple as it gets, check out Growing a Jeweled Rose for some really elaborate and amazing bath play ideas.  This Outer Space themed bath she did looks out of this world!  Pun absolutely intended! 🙂

Please note: For this activity, we used 12-13 glow bracelets and had the bathroom door partially open to let in some light.  I could clearly see the children and they could clearly see their surroundings as well.  Always supervise your children when they are in or around water, and use your best judgement as to what is safe.


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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Great post! I so appreciate the link to Growing A Jeweled Rose. 🙂

  • Deborah says:

    Definitely marking this down for when my grandson gets a little bit older! He will love it!

  • That’s awesome! You know great minds think alike… I just bought some glow sticks myself to make a cool bath for the kids too =-) Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great weekend,
    Beth =-)

  • Allison says:

    I love the game to see who could gather the most! How fun! We love glow sticks in the tub. One night we added glow sticks to a glow water bath, and it was awesome!

  • Christy says:

    I have done this with my 3 year old daughter and she absoltely loves it! I get my glow sticks at the dollar store, still 15 for $1.00. Also, I recommend putting the glow sticks in the freezer when you are done with them and they can last up to a week.

  • Great ideas with the glowsticks!

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