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glow in the dark ice cubes
 

Glowing ice cubes easy home science experiment might just be the thing for dark evenings during winter! This is a flexible experiment that parents may do repeatedly with slight changes. Science vocabulary could easily be incorporated as in hypothesis for prediction, and observation for noticing — or not, depending on the age of your child. The free PDF printable has a few vocabulary cards as well as number labels for the liquids you may have on hand. Basically, tonic water and a black light bulb will provide an exciting experiment.

Free PDF to accompany this experiment free instant download here: glow-in-the-dark-ice-cubes-information

 
we used three different types of tonic water
 
 

We began with three different types of tonic water which we only had on hand due to grocery store substitutions. This is not medical advice, but it seems to help with infrequent mouth sores in our family. Anyway, we happened to have 3 kinds. We wondered if the brand would make any difference in the amount of glow, and we think it did, although slightly. I am not a brand influencer and am not recommending any certain kind. It did seem Indian River tonic water was the best. It was the most “fizzy” and fun to pour. We would probably never have chosen it in a store, but it arrived at our house and we were curious. Use any kind available!

 
simple-glow-in-the-dark-ice-cubes-experiment (5)
 
 

Label 3 bottles or 3 jars 1, 2, and 3. If wanted, add the name of the liquid to the labels. Quinine water will glow in the dark when frozen.

*Note to parents: Use what you have on hand and what is available. 

All good experiments begin with a  question. When children guess what the answer might be, tell them they are predicting or hypothesizing a possible outcome.

Question: Do you think any of these liquids will glow when frozen? Which might glow? Why do you think so?

Experiment by using 3 different liquids such as 3 kinds of tonic water or use plain water and clear pop for two of them.

Observe: When frozen, place the ice cubes under a black light. Only a black light bulb is required, no fancy lamp. Let the children look and consider the results.

What is the conclusion? Were the children correct?

For fun: Place the ice cubes in the sink in some water, place the blacklight nearby, and let the children play while the ice melts. Just a very short time and spoons should be used, not hands. 

Option: Use vocabulary cards with older children if wanted.

  • Avoid looking directly at the ultraviolet “black light” and shining it on your skin because the light can damage your eyes and skin.

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

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