Sometimes the simplest of ideas can be one of your best. I was recently at Target buying everything that I don’t need (those $1 bins when you walk into the store are going to make me broke!), and I spotted a few things that I thought would be really fun for the kids to play with. I found some plastic, diamond shaped, reusable ice cubes and a tube of glow-in-the-dark bracelets. On my quest I also found some regular glow sticks, and I instantly had my plan of attack: glow-in-the-dark bath time!
Caring for 2 year-old twins and a 4 year-old, usually we do two baths a night: twins in one bath and big brother in his own bath. For this activity I decided to be brave and bathe all three kiddos together for a couple of reasons: 1. They are little enough that it is still age appropriate to bathe together, 2. I wanted to be able to get all of the glow sticks going all at once, and 3. Because I felt like this was a mini science experiment that was age-appropriate for 2 year-olds and 4 year-olds and I wanted them to be able to experience it together. I thought they would get different things out of the activity and it would be a better learning experience for them if they were able to witness each other experiencing the activity in different ways.
There was pretty much NO prep for this activity, but I definitely used this as leverage to have the 4 year-old behave throughout the day. I showed him the entire lot of glow sticks and I let him freeze the ice cubes a few hours before bath. He even took a great nap because he was so excited for this special bath time experience.
Here is how it turned out:
I think this was the longest bath they had ever taken. It was a little over an hour long, and I had to refill the bath water twice just so they wouldn’t be cold. And they made me wash them in the dark, too…so that wasn’t very easy! I think I spent about $5 buying the glow sticks and ice cubes, and it was well-worth the price for them to have this much fun in the bath. They even wanted to sleep with the glow sticks afterwards.
The ice cubes were not glow-in-the-dark, but they float in the water and I have used them since then to work on the different colors with the 2-year-olds. Any moment can be a learning experience, and I guarantee that your kids will be begging you to do this simple activity with them again.