With daylight savings time here again, and the weather in many locations still perfectly lovely after dark, kids on fall camping expeditions are going to want to explore the world when night time comes. Hiking in safe areas and other natural exploration is an incredible experience after dark, and if you’ve never viewed stars away from city lights, you really have no idea how small we really are. That being said, there are lot of other ways to enjoy the dark as well and here are five that everyone should try at least once before leaving Earth!
1. Glowing bubbles, easy and super fun!
Glow in the dark bubbles!
As the father of eight kids, I don’t mind saying I intend to do this with mine as soon as the opportunity presents itself. When you see how it’s done, you’ll be amazed. You only need two things to make this happen tonight, and you can probably get them within a five minute drive of almost anywhere you happen to be in the good ole US of A.
- Bubble soap, this can be had from any Walmart, or Dollar Tree and most grocery stores
- Glow sticks! These are also available at most discount stores and can be had for a buck at the nearest Dollar Tree
Crack the glow sticks to activate the glowing fluid. Cut the ends off and dump them in the bubbles. Blow bubbles. Laugh. Repeat! You can also get a special glow in the dark bubble fluid.
Some commercially available glowing bubbles.
2. Glow-in-the-dark Easter Eggs.
If your kids are like mine, they would hunt Easter eggs until I got tired of hiding them, then hide them for each other. This twist on the classic makes it even more fun. Crack a small glow stick and wrap it inside a plastic Easter egg with a candy, or small prize. Repeat for as many eggs as you want to hide. Scatter the eggs around your camp site. You can choose fairly difficult spots too, as long as the glow can be seen. Now open the RV door, let the kids out and stand back!
Fitting the glow stick inside the egg.
3. Flashlight tag!
This is a classic! You can play with just one light, or multiple. Make the person who gets tagged become “it” or play freeze tag. Any combination of tag rules will work. You’ll want to walk over the playing area before dark to remove tripping hazards and set some boundaries for a safe area to run before starting. For a fun variation, have the person with the flashlight be a firefly. They flash the light on and off, moving between flashes with the other players trying to find them.
4. Glowing shuttlecock powered by mini glow stick.
Glow in the dark sports gear!
From badminton shuttlecocks to volleyballs and Frisbees, many traditional sporting goods come in glow in the dark versions that can make after dark the best time for play time! Whether you use the gear to play traditional sports, or invent your own fun after dark games, lots of fun for all ages is yours to be had. Check sporting goods stores and discount stores for lots of options in glow in the dark toys.
Imagine the fun with this glowing beach ball.
5. Ghost stories and sing alongs around the campfire.
No matter how high tech we may become, there will always be something magical about sitting around a campfire singing and sharing stories. From our earliest days as cave dwellers, until (I am sure) far into the future, families will enjoy this experience and pass it down from generation to generation. Ghost stories and s’mores are always an option, or come up with your own fun way of sharing this great experience!