Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Glow-in-the-Dark Storytime

This was an evening winter storytime.  We ended up with about 25 kids, mostly elementary school aged, which was the perfect audience for this program.  The stories might not have worked with a younger crowd.

Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

Draw & Tell: Here Kitty Kitty!” (On whiteboard, under black light, with fluorescent markers.)  I don’t think I’ve ever done a draw and tell before, and they can be a little bit silly, but the novelty plus the glow-in-the-dark marker action made it worth it.  The kids really enjoyed watching the picture take shape.

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This long exposure photo gives you some feel for the shaker action.

Song: “Everyone Can Shake, Shake, Shake” with guitar and glow-in-the-dark shakers.  Any shaker song would work, because — glow-in-the-dark shakers! (These mini glow sticks fit right into a plastic egg.  Toss in some beans, tape it up, and you’re good to go!  At least for an hour or two.)

Book: What Was I Scared of? A Glow-in-the-Dark Encounter by Dr. Seuss.  I used the black light flashlight to give me enough light to read by.  The bonus was that when I put the flashlight down to turn the pages,  you could really see the glowing parts of the book.  It was more or less the same on every page – the narrator and the pants glowed – but the kids loved it every time anyway.

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Long exposure shot of The Hokey Pokey

Song: “The Hokey Pokey” with Father Goose on Family Dance by Dan Zanes.  We gave the adults four glow bracelets per child as they came in, and they waited to put them on until this point.  It took a little while to do, but I was afraid the kids would be distracted if they’d put them on right at the beginning.  The smaller kids could fit the bracelets on their wrists and ankles, but the bigger kids couldn’t fit them on their ankles, so they made big necklaces out of them or wore two bracelets on each hand.

The story portion, including songs, lasted about 20 minutes, and then we moved on to the activities.  Most families stayed around 45 minutes total.

Activity #1:  Glowing water beads .  This got really messy really quickly, but the kids loved it!

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Activity #2: Glowing play dough with glow-in-the-dark stars.  The dough really only glowed under the black light, so I wish we’d had better black light coverage, but the glowing stars made it work anyway – they hid the stars in the play dough and used the stars in sculptures.

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Activity #3: Mystery pictures with highlighters and black light flashlights.  I borrowed this from another glow-in-the-dark storytimer.  If you write in yellow highlighter on yellow paper, it is basically invisible until you shine the blacklight on it, and then it really pops.  This was super fun, although I wish I’d had more markers.  The kids also started drawing on themselves and on each other.  I hope that washed off ok!    

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