Looking for a way to celebrate the end of summer? Create Glow in the Dark Fireflys in a Jar! This activity is perfect for later preschool and school age children as they get ready for the school year! Glow in the Dark Fireflyies will encourage the use of fine motor skills such as drawing, cutting and painting which are important in the physical development of young children! If you do not have a jar handy, you can always encourage your child’s creativity and imagination by creating a picture with multiple fireflies. Children will love to keep the jar in their room and watch the glowing lights to help them relax while they fall asleep all year round. This can be a great way to provide a positive coping skill to children who are nervous in the dark at night!
★ Recycled clear jar
★ Glow in the dark puff paint (or regular paint if needed)
★ Construction paper
★ Band aids (one brown and two clearish)
★ Yellow highlighter, marker, or paint
★ Black marker
Let's Get Started!
Step 1: Painting the Jar
First, place an extra piece of paper underneath your jar! This will help keep your table clean from any mess that may happen when you put the paint on it! Then, gently squeeze your glow in the dark paint into little dots on your jar! Make sure that they are small enough so that extra paint doesn’t run down the side of the jar. If that happens, do not stress! Just dab or wipe it away with a paper towel or kleenex. If you have more than one colour of glow in the dark puff paint, you can put small dots of that colour on there too!
Step 2: Firefly Body!
On your choice of coloured construction paper, create your firefly! Black construction paper was chosen to look like the dark night sky! First, peel one of the two pieces of paper off of your band aid. When that piece of paper is pulled away, it should be sticky! Then, pull off the other piece of paper so the back of your band aid is all sticky. Next, stick your band aid on your construction paper! Make sure you place it in a spot where there will be space around it, like more towards the middle of the paper! This is the body of your firefly.
Step 3: Firefly Wings
To create your firefly’s wings, you will need two more clear band aids. If you’ve got brightly coloured band aids like yellow or orange neon ones, those will work great too! You will then make an ‘X’, in the middle of the firefly’s body to make the wings! To find the middle of the body, find the soft pad on the bandaid that would usually go on top of a scratch or scrape on your body. Take one of your wing bandaids and pull off the paper pieces like you did with the body. Place the bandaid like you are putting it on top of an ‘ouchie’ over top of the firefly body on a slant, like this: ↘. Then, colour the first wing with a yellow highlighter. Repeat this step with the other band aid. Your bandaids should look like an ‘X’ to form your firefly’s wings!
**If you do not have a highlighter, a regular marker will work great too. If you used bright coloured bandaids for your wings, you can skip this colouring part!**
Step 4: Firefly Face
Pick the end that will be the top of your firefly. With a crayon, draw two antennae on the top of the firefly’s head by drawing two lines curved away from each other. Then add circles on top of the lines. White was chosen to show up on the black paper! You can use any colour you think will show well on your construction paper.
Next, with a black marker, or marker of choice, draw a smile and two dots for eyes on your firefly’s face!
Step 5: Making your Firefly Glow!
Using your glow in the dark puff paint, outline your firefly’s wings by tracing around the edges. Again, if you do not have glow in the dark puff paint you can use regular puff paint, or skip this step!
Once you have outlined your wings, use your scissors to cut out the firefly’s bug’s body. Cut close to,but not the edges of your firefly so that you don’t get puff paint on your scissors.
Lastly, after your puff paint has dried, open up your jar and place your firefly inside! Close the lid. Place your jar in your room or wherever you want to keep it. The glow in the dark works best after being in sunlight or under a lamp and then turning the lights out. Reactivate the glow by holding a flashlight up to your jar and firefly so that they will glow brightly again!
Step 6: Firefly Picture!
If you do not have a jar to use, consider making a picture with fireflies using all the steps and just skipping cutting the fireflies out!**