Let’s make glow in the dark ice cubes !
Are you throwing a Halloween Party in your home? If yes, then why not spice up your party with some simple and amazing techniques that can be done at home!?
Everything is better when it glows! Isn’t it!!!?
Yes, absolutely!! Not only a Halloween, any formal cocktail event or birthday party is an ideal set up to show off glowing ice cubes. What are you waiting for? Light up the night with the awesome fluorescent, glowing science fun!
I planned to try this glowing ice cubes setting much before my younger one’s (5 years old) birthday party. As a parent I am very much happy seeing the kids happy and excited. But before arranging this setting in the party, I already had a try along with my little ones to check and explain the science behind it.
So let us see what happens with the activity and learn some fun science at home using some magical ingredients that are available at home.
Glowing Ice Cube Experiment for kids
Glowing ice cubes are easy to make and safe to do this activity for kids. It is also safe to consume as well since it is non-toxic and edible. My girls liked the taste of tonic water (and of course, your kids may feel different about it). Though the taste discourages them, it is a great sensory play material for kids as it is safe in case if the kids decide to taste the tonic water.
Hence, this particular activity has become one of my and my daughter’s favorite activities. This is simple enough for kids to do, but also super cool enough to entertain everyone.
Things required to perform the experiment
Have you ever surprised that you could make something that glows at home and how glow-in-the-dark things work? It’s not that difficult or hard to do—all you need is a magical ingredient as I told you in the beginning. Yes, i.e. nothing but tonic water. How will the tonic water works to glow the cubes? Try this activity to know the answers for the questions rotating in your mind.
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Steps to make glow in the dark ice cubes
We wanted to compare the glow of normal water and the tonic water. So we prepared ice cubers in two different trays.
Take some normal water in a beaker and ask your kid to fill in the ice tray. Place the filled ice tray in the freezer until the water could turn into cubes.
Repeat the same step for tonic water as well.
Tonic water ice cubes turned out to have a textured structure while normal water ice cubes were more transparent.
Since we wanted to do more than just tonic water, we added food color to both tonic water and normal water. I let my elder daughter add color to the water and pour in the ice tray and freeze.
To create another variation, I choose a fluorescent paint. (Caution : I used acrylic paint since I couldn’t get fluorescent food color. Acrylic paints are not edible. At any cost, children should not be let to taste the ice cubes mixed with acrylic paints) I suggest you to go for food color to make the activity completely edible. I asked my kid again to fill this mixture into the ice tray and freeze.
We marked the tray at the back using a marker just to distinguish which ones were made from tonic water.
Once all the liquids are frozen, take out all the ice cubes made of different mixtures using normal water into separate bowls as shown in the figure.
This step is little boring for you I guess!!! 🙂 But not for our kids hopefully. They are always excited and active to do mixing of different substances. This also helps their little brain to understand the concept of measuring the substances in right quantities and mixing the substances in a right way. It would be like a practice session on mixing different mixtures.
Coming to our step-4; repeat the above three steps but this time we need to make cubes using our magical ingredient i.e. nothing but ‘tonic water’.
Hope you all understand the preparation steps before we get into the activity. My girls are ready with cubes made of tonic water and normal water mixed with food color and fluorescent fabric color. You can follow the figures (how my girls have arranged the ice cube containing bowls to perform the experiment) we have uploaded along with this post.
All you need to do in step-5 is so simple and effortless. Just turn off the lights and flash some black light onto the ice cubes. Now turn on the black light. The ice cubes will start glowing.
Mamma! Tonight we are going to have a parrrrtyyyyy… Yeyyy!!! How could mamma make such an amazing thing even at home!?? You can expect who said these words. Yes, my girls were very excited seeing the glowing cubes. They are also excited to know the reason behind it. Without any delay or before their mood switches, I started explaining them the simple science and secret behind this activity.
Here are our results
As expected, the glow on the tonic water was much brighter than the normal ice cubes. In fact, we could clearly see the texture of the tonic water ice cubes when they were glowing.
On the contrary to our expectation, among the fluorescent paint mixed ice cubes, the normal water ones were brighter. I believe the tonic water didn’t mix well with the acrylic paint as we could see patches of the paint across the ice cubes. That might be a reason.
The food colored ice cubes were so dull. We actually decided not to use any food color to make ice cubes for the birthday party.
I allowed my daughter to play and taste the ice cubes (of-course – except the fluorescent paint mixed ones). They even explored it further testing the ice cubes with normal flashlight.
Have you tried these activities at home? Let us know your results in the comments.
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