Glow into the New Year

Glow sticks are all you need for this at-home family New Year’s celebration!

Published on December 28, 2020

glow stick family fun

By Mrs. Farnham (teacher, mom, and CMoR Member)

After having kids, I discovered that New Year’s is not the most kid-friendly holiday. Parents trade midnight toasts for apple juice in sippy cups. How do you celebrate when your kids go to bed well before the ball drop? Never fear! I have a few simple ideas for your at-home celebration this year. Best of all, you will only need some glow sticks for these activities. If you are anything like me, you hoard packs of glow sticks for just such occasions. No? Just me? Ok, run to Dollar Tree.

Items as simple as a pack of glow sticks can prompt learning about colors, counting, and shapes. Talk to your children about these concepts as you try these activities together. Take advantage of the early nightfall by turning out the lights and cracking your glow sticks to start the fun!

New Year’s Glow Stick Party

Materials: 1 pack (8-10) bracelet size glow sticks per participant

Activity 1: Glow Hide N’ Seek


  1. Hide a set number of glow sticks (2-3 for toddlers, 8-10 for older kids) in a particular room while the kid(s) wait in another room.
  2. After all the glow sticks are hidden, let the kids run around and find them. Discuss how many have been found and how many are still hidden as they are looking. This is a great way to sneak in the math concept of parts to make a whole.
  3. Once all of the glow sticks are found, let the kids hide them for you to find.

Activity 2: Glow Dance Party


  1. Use the bracelet connectors (enclosed in your glow stick pack) to make 1 circle roughly the size of each participant’s face. Wear the circle on your face (see picture) or on your head like a hat.

2. Use the remaining glow sticks to tape a stick figure shape on each participant’s body (see picture). Wearing long sleeves and pants will help to keep the adhesive off of skin.

NOW…Turn off the lights and turn the music up! Dance together while trying to make your glow sticks move!

Have someone take a video of the dancing so you can watch all watch together.

Activity 3: Glow Bath (or Shower)


  1. Fill the bath and drop the glowsticks in.

If your child takes showers instead of baths, you can loop the bracelets on the shower curtain hooks for a glow shower.

Turn off the lights for your glow bath. My kids love to fill pitchers with the glow sticks and water to make lanterns. We sort the glow sticks based on colors and count to see which color has the most.

Read Aloud: Squirrel’s New Year Resolution by Pat Miller

New Year’s Day is the perfect time to teach kids about setting a goal. Watch Squirrel’s New Year Resolution together and then discuss goals your family might have for 2021. You may be surprised by the goals your kids come up with!

My family is hoping to have more dance parties. We will write down this goal with our others to put on the refrigerator. Seeing our goals each day will help remind us to work on them in 2021.

A New Year with CMoR

I hope that 2021 brings you and your family health, wealth, and happiness. If you enjoyed these activities, be sure to visit CMoR soon to play with color and shapes in the Bright exhibit Downtown or in the art studio at both museum locations. The art studio has a lot of great supplies and project ideas. Best of all, they clean up the mess!

Be sure to tag any fun pictures you take of your glow party to share with us on Facebook or Instagram

Happy New Year!