Updated for 2020
All across the country, towns, churches, and families are doing something unique. If you check your local happenings there may be a Glow In the Dark Easter Egg Hunt near you! If not, don’t fret. Throwing your own is simple, inexpensive, and tons of fun! Things that glow hold create instant wonder for kids. Add this wonder to one of their favorite holiday season will create something they will remember for years to come.
Glowing egg hunts can be a simple, indoor activity for a small family or a community wide event for hundreds! This ultimate guide will help you think through every aspect of your event.
Having your Hunt Indoors
An indoor egg hunt has some advantages over an outdoor egg hunt. First, an indoor, night time hunt gives you the most control over the light as well as gives you the option to have the hunt during daytime hours. Second, it is much better to keep track of the participants in a closed in area. For smaller groups, such as your own children, your own house is perfect. For larger groups, consider a home with a larger space, a basement, or consider renting or using a larger commercial space, school, or church. Almost any space will work.
Keeping in mind that children will be excitedly moving through this space in the dark, careful attention to safety hazards will be important. Put breakables away, watch out for sharp furniture corners and consider illuminating stairs and taping down carpet edges or other potential tripping hazards.
To add excitement to the start of the hunt, gather the children in the space where the eggs are hidden. Join in a countdown that ends in shutting off the lights.
Having your hunt Outdoors
If your space is outdoors in an open space such as a park, setting a parameter will be helpful for safety. Station adults with glow stick necklaces and flashlights along unsafe boundaries. This will keep kids safe and put parents at ease. Station these helpers where the hunt area borders parking lots, roads, woods, or private property. The more eyes on the kids in the dark the better. Do a head count before and after for additional peace if mind!
If the space is small enough, designate the parameter with flagging tape wrapped around trees, posts or playground equipment. Be sure to communicate these safety rules to the participants.
It’s not just things that glow that attract the kids. Colored and flashing lights are a great addition to the night, and attaching some sort of flashing accessory to a child’s clothes will not only delight them, but help you track the kids in the dark. Have baskets of glow sticks on hand for kids to adorn themselves with fun necklaces or headbands. This will help keep track of kids in the dark.
Ways to make your Eggs Glow
For the eggs themselves, there are a variety of options. These days, you can find plastic eggs that are made from glow in the dark plastic, or clear eggs that can be filled with glowing items. Alternatively, you can decorate plastic or even real hard boiled eggs with glow or neon paint. (We do not recommend eating eggs after being painted, however.)
If you already have eggs on hand from past years, the simplest methods is placing small glow sticks inside. If the eggs are larger in size, flexible glow bracelets can be coiled up and placed inside. This can be a snug fit if the eggs are too small.
If you have saved eggs from previous years and only need the light sticks, a better option may be mini glow sticks which are less than 2 inches a piece and made for this specific purpose. Keep in mind that medium or large size eggs work best for glow sticks. Need both eggs and glow sticks together? See the products below for a great package.
Below are two of the most popular and highly rated products. For both the glow in the dark eggs, and the eggs that come with glow sticks, neither come pre-filled. Both types of eggs also have enough room inside for small treasures.
Let the Hunt Begin!
Timing is important, so collect a group of adults to hide the eggs just at dusk while someone else gets the kids ready. Before this, keep the eggs and toys under a bright lamp, or out in direct sunlight for the day so they can get fully charged. If you are using glow sticks or bands to illuminate the eggs, activate them as late as possible as their glow will begin fading after a few hours. You don’t want the glow to wane too early for the kids to find them. If you must activate glow sticks far ahead of time, place them in a freezer to make them last longer.
Consider pairing the kids together in teams of 2 or more for safety. If the kids are going to be in small groups, have those groups ready before the egg hiding begins, so the kids can get settled. Give each child or group one of the blacklight flashlights which will help illuminate those glowing hidden treats. Make sure each child has some glowing item to hold or an accessory that makes them easy to spot in the dark. This could be a glow stick or glow necklaces and bracelets, or even a flashing wand of some sort.
Before sending everyone off, be sure to explain the nature of the egg hunt, and the safety rules. It may be a good idea to have a whistle, horn, or even a megaphone that will be the signal to come back to the “home base”. Make sure each participant has a basket or something to carry the eggs they discover. Once the eggs are set, the rules are explained, and all safety consideration are in place, let the participants loose!
One final safety tip: Do a head count before the kids set out. Do another head count when the kids regroup. This will allow you a quick way to know if there are any kids who have not returned either because they are still looking, didn’t hear the signal, or have wondered beyond the safe boundaries of the egg hunt area.
Ways to make the hunt more creative
For additional fun, hide signs with simple riddles written in glow paint, so that the children can get an extra prize if they find the riddle sign and manage to solve it. The prizes can be bigger items that might have been more difficult to hide, like light up swords or fairy wands, fiber optic lamps, or whatever suits the crowd.
Use a black light pen to write invisible numbers on paper to place within certain eggs. The numbers can correspond to a large prize. Kids can bring the blank paper to game leaders to discover the secret prize number.
Using glow sticks for your eggs? Have glass or translucent plastic containers to collect glow sticks after the hunt for a light-up table decoration.
Have a contest to see who can collect the most eggs or fill up a container with the most egg glow sticks.
Make your supply list
To prepare for an Easter Glow party, consider gathering the following supplies:
• Plastic egg shells (medium or large size)—enough so that each child can collect 5 or more.
• Glow-in-the-dark egg shells
• Glow and/or neon paint
• Small glowing toys (lots of things are available, like bugs, stickers, etc)
• Mini personal black light flashlights
• Neon or glow-in-the-dark chalk for marking trees or making signs
• Candy! (there are actually glowing options for candy, which are great egg fillers)
• Glowing makeup (kids might enjoy doing a bit of face painting before the egg hunt)
• Glow necklaces and bracelets for wearing
What did we miss?
Share your ideas in the comments below!