Kids love to play with glow sticks at nighttime festivals and parties. What makes them glow is the interaction between two chemicals: an oxalate, which includes special fluorescers, and an activator. One liquid floats in a very thin capsule in the plastic tube containing the other liquid. When the tube is bent, the thin capsule breaks and the two liquids mix together and glow.
It's also fun to make crafts using glow sticks and necklaces -- and they're perfect for Halloween. This scary spider can be hung from the branch of a tree, or indoors where someone is likely to bump into it. Once activated, the glow sticks last for about eight hours, so make the spider right before you need it.
Tools and Materials
6-inch glow stick
6-inch Styrofoam ball
3-inch Styrofoam ball
2 mini glow sticks
8 glow necklaces
Glow-Stick Spider How-To
1. Make the body: Snap the 6-inch glow stick, and shake. Screw an eye hook into the 6-inch Styrofoam ball, center it, and secure it with low-temperature hot glue. Insert the glow stick through the side of the ball, leaving about 1 1/2 inches exposed. (To insert the glow stick, use the end of the glow stick to scoop out a bit of the Styrofoam, then exert a lot of pressure to push the stick into the ball.)
2. Make the head: Insert the exposed portion of the glow stick into the 3-inch Styrofoam ball. Take two mini glow sticks and snap them. Insert them into the head for eyes.
3. Make the legs: First, activate the glow necklaces by bending and then shaking them. Insert the glow necklaces into the 6-inch Styrofoam ball -- four on each side, about 1 inch apart.
4. Tie a length of clear elastic to the eye hook, then hang the spider from a tree branch or a hook.
Monster Glow necklaces and glow sticks are available at Kmart and Party City (800-762-7548). The Styrofoam balls, QuickTite Super Glue, and clear elastic can be found at crafts stores.