Mini Monets and Mommies: Glow in the Dark Ice Paint: Kids' Science and Art

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Glow in the Dark Ice Paint: Kids' Science and Art

It's glow in the dark ice painting! Break out the black light and tonic water! No, I’m not talking about having a 70s theme disco and drinks party (but if you’ve got the velvet Elvis to put up, why not?). What I am talking about is a science and art exploration for your child.

Ice Art

I’ve been kind of obsessed with icy art lately. Not only can your child make colorful cubes, but she can also create her own glowing paint. I’ve done DIY glow paints before, but adding a frozen edge makes this activity even more fun for the kids.  Discover the wonder of tonic water and its glowing properties. Add on a liquid to solid to liquid transformation and you can compound the science learning for your child.

Ice cube activity
Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        An ice cube tray

·        Tonic water

·        Glitter

·        Dark paper

·        A black light

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Fill up an ice cube tray with tonic water. Add some glitter to a few cubes for added sparkle.

Glow paint
2.     Put the tray into the freezer.

3.     Pop the cubes out of the tray when they are frozen. In the regular light they look just like run of the mill ice cubes.

Science for kids
4.     Turn off the lights and turn on the black light. Like magic, the cubes begin to glow! Before your child ‘paints’ with the cubes she can stack them, turn them around and investigate the glowing ice.

Glitter Cubes
5.     Paint with the cubes. Have your child run the cubes over dark paper, leaving behind a trail of glowing, glittering water.

Childrens' science

Paint Project
Even though you won’t have much other than a wet sheet of paper left behind to show for the activity, you can keep it going by snapping a few pics during the process and then talking about them later. You can also repeat the activity with regular water to make a comparison (the regular water won’t glow). Ask your child why she thins one glows and the other doesn’t (hint: it’s the quinine in the tonic). You can also talk to her about states of matter and ask her to tell you what happened as she warmed the solid ice by painting with it.

Science art
Are you looking for more art and science explorations? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Preschool Art and Science Activities on Pinterest.


  1. What a fab idea! Are black lights expensive?
    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

    1. Thanks! Not very expensive (about the same price as a regular bulb). I got one at a home improvement store and just swapped out one of lamps bulbs for that one when we did the activity.

  2. I still have some tonic water left in the fridge - we might have to try this one.

    1. It's so much fun. I love how something so simple glows!

  3. Wow!! That looks like so much fun :) I've got a 3 year old little boy that loves anything that glows in the dark lol. He would love this!

    1. Thanks! It's great for younger kids because it just requires tonic water and not chemical-filled paints that they could put in their mouths.

  4. I never would have guessed you used tonic water!! Thanks for linking with Tuesday Tutorials #pintorials

  5. Ah, what a great idea. We did ice painting this week, but I think my kids would love this twist to it.

  6. Love this idea - just added it to our "must do" list xx #summerfamilyfunparty

  7. This is fantastic! Would love to share it with my reader next week! #pintorials

  8. So simple and so fun. Have to ask hubby if we have a black light. Thanks for sharing with After School Link Up!

  9. Brilliant ideas!

    Thanks for linking up with the Parenting Pin it Party this week x x

  10. This is brilliant - I'm sharing it on social media and can't wait to try it out myself!

  11. So smart to use tonic water!! We definitely have to try this. Thanks for sharing at the Love to Learn Linky.

  12. Hi Erica,
    This is amazing!!! I love glow in the dark stuff and the kids do too :) I am so excited to be featuring your post this week at the Love to Learn Linky. I hope you will stop by and link up again-the party starts Thursday. Have a fun day!

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