You know those glow in the dark stars that every kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s had? I remember wanting them so much that I asked for them for my birthday and was so excited to get them! I put them up all over my walls and ceiling and would rearrange them into different shapes or the initials of my latest crush. Now that I have kids of my own, they are just as fascinated by things that glow in the dark. So when I found a “recipe” for glow in the dark bath paint, I was excited to try it out with them.
I looked in a few places online to find out what kind of glow in the dark paint would work best. I wanted this to be an affordable activity so that my kids could do it often without breaking the bank. I finally found a good solution at Michaels using their Craft Smart brand. I bought one bottle of regular glow in the dark paint and then a bottle each of pink, orange, green and blue neon paint of the same brand. When I was at the local dollar store, I picked up a can of shaving cream. I also bought a blacklight lightbulb (not pictured) for $3 from Walmart since I plan on doing more glow in the dark activities in the future. That’s all you need!
- glow in the dark acrylic paint
- neon acrylic paint
- shaving cream
- blacklight light bulb
- paintbrushes (optional)
- muffin pan (or other container with separate compartments)
To start out, I grabbed a small, 6-opening muffin tin to mix the paint together. I used about 1 tsp of glow in the dark paint and 7-10 drops of colored paint. Put the paint into the bottom of each muffin cup and mix it together before you put the shaving cream in.
After mixing the paint together, shake up your shaving cream and squirt it in. I used about 1/2 cup of shaving cream per color. Then I used a paint brush to mix it all together. I found that mixing it in a circular motion, almost like whisking, worked best for me since it helped me scoop the paint off the bottom and distribute it evenly as possible throughout the shaving cream. There’s really no science behind it, so if you find a method that works better for you, then go for it!
We ran the bath water and replaced the regular bulb in our bathroom with the blacklight bulb. (Depending on the size of your bathroom, you may need more than one bulb to get enough light to see the paint colors really well.) Then we plopped the kids in the tub and let them have at it!
My son has a thing with rubbing any that looks like bubbles all over himself, so that was the first thing he did with the bath paint. My daughter started painting the tub walls and drawing pictures using her fingers and the paintbrush. The kids had lots of fun and when the paint was gone, we drained the water and rinsed out the tub, which made the tub nice and clean–yay!–(and extended the time before it needed to be cleaned again–double yay!).
This is a great year-round activity, good for all ages and fairly inexpensive, depending on the brand you buy. I spent a total of $5 and had paint and shaving cream left over. All in all, it was a fun activity and definitely worth repeating!
Find 7 other colorful hands on kid activities HERE.
Have you done any glow in the dark activities before?