Light Party does Science! (Part 3) Games

We can have a lot of fun with all types of glow-in-the-dark sciency stuff, while thinking about how God is the source of all light and we can shine his light out.

Here are lots of ideas for a light party with a science twist, such as luminous letters, fluorescent food, and glow stick (naturally) games.

UV dandelionBe a Bee!

Play this game in the dark.

Bees can see UV light. They use it to find flowers with nectar because many flowers that look plain to us have bright stripes under UV light. We can pretend to be bees and collect nectar using UV light.

You will need:

To prepare, put dabs of colour on sticky notes, some with fluorescent paint / highlighters and some with ordinary paint / pens. Place the sticky notes all over the room, on walls, floor and furniture, within reach of the children.

Divide the children into teams and choose one ‘finder’ bee  and one ‘keeper’ bee per team. The finder bee wears the hat with the torch tucked in, pointing downward Their job is to find the sticky notes that fluoresce. The keeper bee keeps the ‘nectar’ (sticky notes) for the team. These two must keep their hands in their pockets or behind their backs at all  times. All the rest of the bees are worker bees and are the only people allowed to use their hands. The teams should choose a team ‘buzz’ so that they know who is in their team.

The finder’s job is to shine the UV torch all around and find the sticky notes that fluoresce. When the finder finds one he or she must buzz their team’s buzz. The workers must find them in the dark by listening for the team buzz. The workers collect the nectar then stick it to their team’s keeper bee. No-one may talk. The only noises allowed are the teams’ buzzes.

At the end, the team that has the most fluorescing sticky notes on their keeper bee is the winner.

To make it harder, you can give each team a colour and say that they can only  collect sticky notes of their colour.

Talk About:

How can we know which voices to listen to?

 

IMG_2906Scorpions vs Explorers

Play this game under UV light

Scorpions fluoresce in UV light (but nobody knows why!) We can be stealthy explorers who are trying to avoid the deadly scorpions!

You will need:

  • Fluorescent body paint
  • Obstacles (eg beakers, books, cones, sheets of paper)
  • Chairs

Divide the children into about 1/4 scorpions and 3/4 explorers. The scorpions can paint the top edges on their thumbs and first fingers, so that they look like pincers. They can paint fierce stripes on their faces too. You might like to have helpers ready to paint extra scorpions when needed.

Make a safe area at each end of the room with a ‘danger’ band between. The explorers must try to get from one safe area to the other without touching any of the obstacles or being nipped by a scorpion.

Set several chairs around the danger band and lots of obstacles on the floor. The scorpions can move from chair to chair, but can only nip the explorers when they are touching a chair.

Start with all the explorers in one safe area. At the word ‘go’ they must try to cross the danger band. If they touch an obstacle, they go back to the start and try again. If they are nipped by a scorpion they become a scorpion for the next round.

When all the explorers have either crossed or been nipped, paint pincers on the new scorpions and add them to the danger zone. Now the explorers can try to cross again!

Keep going until only one explorer is left.

Talk About

What can we use as a guide to help us stay on the right path?

 

UV O and XGlow-stick Noughts and Crosses / Hoopla

Play this game under UV light

Kinda what it says, really.

You will need:

Use blu-tak or playdoh to keep the sticks upright for hoopla, or use small bottles filled with tonic water.

 

UV hoopla

Glow-Stick Pictionary

Play this game in the dark.

A version of the classic Pictionary, but with glow sticks!

A helper with a list of nouns, eg: cat, ball, tree. You need a different list for each team and enough items for each child to have a go. The last item on each list is a group of letters from ‘God is light’. So if you have four teams, the teams could have G O / D I S / L I G / H T

Divide the children into teams and have one child from each team come to the helper. Give each the first item on their list, which they  must then make out of glow sticks for their team to guess. The children making the pictures must not talk.

When the word has been guessed, another child from the team (not necessarily the guesser) runs up the get the next word. Continue until everyone in the team has made a picture.

When all the pictures for a team have been done, you can give the letters to the whole team to make. Tell them that everyone’s letters all together make a message. The first team to guess the words made from everyone’s letters is the winner, along with the first team to finish.

Talk About

What does ‘God is light’ mean?

 

electon delta E = hfElectron-mania!

Play this game with the lights on

You will need:

  • lots of balls (ball-pit balls are ideal)
  • buckets or tubs marked for different teams
  • something to mark circles on the floor (rope / chalk / masking tape)
  • helpers to throw balls in

Have something solid in the middle of the floor (this might be a helper) and mark three or more rings around, like a target. This looks (slightly) like an atom with the electron orbitals around the nucleus. Place the buckets or tubs around the outer ring, and the helpers with their large supplies of balls.

Divide the children into teams. The object is for the teams to get as many balls into their buckets as possible.

The children start in the inner ring (it’ll probably be quite crowded!) and circle round. To move to the outer rings, they need to catch a ball. Any child with 1 ball can move out 1 ring. If they catch another ball they can move out another ring. It might be tricky to keep hold of more balls, but that’s part of the fun.

The children keep circling in their rings and try to throw their balls into their team’s buckets. This will be easier from the outer ring, but as soon as they have thrown their ball they must move back in one ring. They can try to throw from this ring as well, but it will be harder. Once they have thrown their last ball they must return to the inner ring and catch another ball.

If you have a range of ages in your group you might like to allow younger children to pick up balls from the floor, while saying that older children must catch them.

At the end, the team with the most balls in their bucket wins.

 

Galaxy Labyrinth

Do this activity in the semi-dark

This is a quieter game, perhaps for the end.

You will need:

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1) Lay out an odd number of tea light in a long line. There should be enough space between the lights to walk through easily, 30-40cm at least.

2) Remove the middle light and have the children lay out half the glow sticks in large semi-circles, joining the tea lights. All the semi-circles should be on the same side – a large one joining the outer tea lights, and smaller ones inside.

3) Replace the middle tea light and move the light from one end of the row to the other end, at the same spacing.

4) Use the rest of the glow sticks to join tea lights with more semi-circles, starting with the outer lights and working in. Note, the curves should not join up into circles, they should be staggered.

5) You should now have a galaxy labyrinth – a path of spirals with a way in at one end and a way out at the other. Use more tea lights to decorate the path.

Let the children walk through the labyrinth for a while, then talk about the special shape.

Talk  About

The spiral path has a sudden turn in the middle. The Bible talks about ‘doing a 180’ when I stop living to please only myself and start living please God. (The Bible calls this ‘repent’) We can use the labyrinth to think about the things that we all do that we know are not good, and think about how we can ‘do a 180’ to change, with God’s help.

Invite the children to walk the labyrinth as a form of prayer, if they want to.

 

UV paper planeNight Flight

Do this activity under UV light

White printer paper usually fluoresces under UV light, so we can have fun with paper planes in the dark.

You will need:

  • White or  fluorescent paper*
  • Highlighter pens
  • Glue and scissors

* see note about buying supplies – I have a stack of paper at home that is labelled as ‘fluorescent’, but looks black under UV. Check!

Make and decorate your paper planes with pens and cut-out shapes, then have a paper aeroplane competition. The children can suggest events, such as:

  • Furthest flight
  • Longest time in air
  • Most accurate (get the plane to land in a tub?)
  • Most beautiful
  • Most colourful
  • Best acrobatic flight
  • Weirdest shape
  • Narrowest
  • Widest
  • Fastest
  • Slowest
  • Most unpredictable flight

Talk About

Which plane is ‘the best’? Could any plane be the best at all the events? What makes something the best?

 

Light Party does Science!

 

* Clickable links

The clickable links will take you to suggested items on Amazon via an affiliate link. If you purchase any items after following an affiliate Amazon will make a small donation to support this ministry. So feel free to splash out on that diamond-studded Porsche. No personal data is passed in either direction, and the price you pay is exactly the same.

Please note: The suggested items are necessarily exactly the same as the ones I use. So while I have linked to ones that are as close as possible to the ones tested so I cannot vouch for their suitability.


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