7.22.2015

Simple Summer - Glow Sticks Are Fun!

While cruising through Pinterest searching for easy summer time meals I quickly realized that simple doesn't mean what it used to. When I typed in simple summer suppers I did not expect stuffed chicken breasts to come up as a result, that's for sure. Anyway, with so many recipes requiring ingredients that would have been considered rare and exotic a few years ago, it came to me that perhaps I should do a small series featuring recipes, ideas, games, and other tips from a time when simple meant simple.

With visions of nights spent playing Hide 'N Seek after dark and hot summer nights spent chasing friends with buckets of water parading across the screen of my mind the need for a Pinterest search became unnecessary. I not only have plenty of simple supper ideas tucked away in some remote corner of my mind, but there are also a few ideas for simple summer fun stashed away in there as well. How about we start with something that was a rare treat when I was a kid but is now widely available at discount stores, supermarkets, and online. GLOW STICKS!!!

Glow sticks have become somewhat of a staple at our house. They have shown up in plastic eggs for in the dark egg hunts around Easter, as earrings, bracelets, and glasses at the Fourth of July, and as general just because fun. As a matter of fact there was one glowing in a basket in my bathroom last week. I think a certain 2-year-old somebody had something to do with that one. For our 23-year-old daughter's birthday in January, we not only glitter-bombed her bedroom but also strategically hid numerous glow sticks in her bedroom along with feathers and confetti surprises for her to discover when she went to bed that night.

Glow sticks can be broken and their contents dumped into bubble solution for glow-in-the-dark bubbles. Sticks can also be added to empty plastic beverage bottles filled with water to create bowling pins for after dark bowling action. Don't forget to add a glow stick to the ball used for bowling. One of the easiest glow stick games is after dark tag. Place a glow stick bracelet on each player's wrist or ankle and let the fun begin. Besides placing a glow stick in a balloon and allowing the kids to toss it around, one more of the many ideas for glow stick fun is to conduct a treasure hunt using plastic eggs with tiny treasures and glow sticks inside. Have the participants hide their eyes, hide the eggs, and turn the players loose to hunt for their glowing treasure. Wouldn't that be a fun addition to a pirate themed party?

As with all activities, safe fun is the best fun. So we'll all do our best to play safely and be appropriately careful with the glow sticks. Glow stick contents are not safe to be eaten, nor are they safe to drink. They sure do make things glow though! This is one play thing I am thrilled is more accessible for my children than it was for me. How well I remember the amazement a glow stick necklace at the annual rodeo brought. The wonder at how such a thing could be was most of the fun. And just in case someone tries to tell you that putting your glow necklace in the freezer makes it glow longer, it does not extend the length of the glow whatsoever. Trust me. I tried. Every year. For several years. And if anyone ever wants to get you a glow-in-the-dark slinky, let them. They look like so much fun!

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