Happy Memorial Day (to all my US friends)! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend (and still are!!)! While we’re in the hospital enjoying our newest edition, baby Ben (see picture below), today also kicks off our new fun series Think Outside The Toy Box.
I mentioned this series last Friday, but basically it’s a collaboration with five other bloggers and myself to try to come up with NEW and CREATIVE ways to use household items (that aren’t traditionally thought of as toys).
This week’s theme ‘item’ is Glow Sticks! Now … I realized that my kiddos never really have played with these (and apparently I’ve been depriving them, because they’re now OBSESSED!!).
Since I’ve been preoccupied these past couple weeks (hoping this baby would arrive each day), I consulted Pinterest for some creative Glow Stick ideas for little ones. After checking out some great ideas (seriously … I’m sharing a couple of my favorite pins below) … we decided to make Glow Stick Lightning Bugs (our own ‘version’ of bugs).
Take a look at our finished product at night:
And during the day (and missing his nose):
They were actually a bigger hit than I expected! While the boys weren’t super excited about the making of the bugs (they watched me, but didn’t help a whole lot), they both loved the finished product (even before I added the glow sticks). I could have been the fact that I tied fishing line to the bugs so we could hang them up, but they got a hold of them before I could hang ’em and used the fishing line to swing them all over the place (including at each other).
When we added the Glow Sticks, Owen called them ‘magic bugs’ and has insisted on having his bug sleep next to him each night since (hence the reason I only have nighttime pictures of the blue bug).
So … want to make one? It’s super easy, and you could totally improvise the construction of these bugs with whatever you happen to have on hand. Here’s what we used:
- Plastic bottle(s)
- Pipe cleaners
- 6″ wide strips of tulle for the ‘wings’. You can buy this in the wedding section of most craft stores and it comes in a wide variety of colors. If you don’t have this on hand, however, you could use feathers, construction paper, more pipe cleaners, tissue paper, etc for the wings.
- Stick on eyes
- Black paint for the nose (optional … you could totally leave the nose white, too), and you definitely don’t need chalkboard paint (it’s just all that I had on hand).
- Glow Sticks of some sort. Sticks work great … bracelets work … necklaces work. Whatever you can find!
- Yarn poufs for tails (you can buy the colorful balls at a craft store, you could use cotton balls, you could make your own yarn poms (see instructions here), or you could skip the tail). I’m pretty sure bugs don’t have poufy tails anyway. Apparently, our bug has a little bunny rabbit in him!
- Hot Glue or super glue to stick on eyes and tail (not pictured)
- Fishing line to hang bugs if you want (also, not pictured)
Here’s how we made ours:
STEP 1: Wrap legs around bottle. We used a total of four pipe cleaners … two for each leg.
Step 2: Tie on wings. We used three strips of tulle (~15″ each) tied around the body.
Step 3: Attach antennae. We cut two slits and threaded one pipe cleaner through them (and formed into antenna shapes)
Step 4: Glue on eyes and tail
Step 5: Paint cap for nose (if desired). Attach fishing line, and hang (also, if desired)
Our flying blue bug:
Step 6: At night, add glow stick and watch them become ‘magic bugs’ (at least according to Owen).
That’s it! A fairly simple project that keeps the kiddos entertained for a bit! It would be fun to hang a bunch of these for a kid party at night (though, this might have to wait until Fall, as it doesn’t get dark around here until 9pm or after).
Glow sticks are great because they’re SOOO cheap! Here are a couple other ideas for using them in fun ways that I found around town:
There are a ton of tutorials on how to make ‘fairy jars’ with glitter and by cutting open the glow sticks. They look pretty fun, right?
Glow in the Dark Bowling … Genius!!
Or … keeping with the kid’s games … Glow in the Dark Ring Toss. This would be awesome for camping or just a backyard kiddo party.
More ‘decor’ for a kids glow party … A Glow Stick Chandilier
Or .. have a glow bug Easter Egg hunt:
Head over to these other fun blogs to check out their Glow Stick projects today:
Now, it’s your turn! Do you have any creative uses for Glow Sticks? Link ’em up below:
Thanks for stopping by today! Next Monday, we’ll be sharing some ideas for plastic bottles (I guess I could have used our lightning bugs for both Glow Sticks and Plastic Bottles, but I’ll try to come up with something else creative!!).
And … more pictures coming soon, but here’s baby Ben and Mom’s first picture together: