Play With Light this New Year’s Eve

The following is by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids.

New Year’s Eve is one night of the year when my children usually stay up long after dark.  We give them glowsticks, torches and sparklers.  As I watch them playing happily for hours with these simple, inexpensive toys, I am always reminded of how the simple things in life are often the most enjoyable.

If you give them torches or glowsticks on New Year’s Eve your children will undoubtedly come up with many wonderful ways to play, but to get them started here are some fun activities to try with torch or glowstick light.

  • play torch tag.  The person who is ‘it’ must light someone up with the torch to catch them.
  • have a torch treasure hunt.  Hide something in the dark and have everyone look around with their torches.
  • play hide and seek in the dark, using torches to help the seeker find everyone.
  • go on a night walk and see if you can spotlight any nocturnal animals.
  • lay glowsticks on the ground or tape them to the wall to make pictures or messages.  
  • turn off the lights, lay on your back and look for the moon, constellations and shooting stars.
  • make chinese paper lanterns and light them with glowsticks.  Glowsticks also look lovely as a light source in many other sorts of lanterns.

Photo by Catherine Way
And for a wonderful reminder of your New Year’s Eve celebration, take some photos of your children writing or drawing with glowsticks or torches (or sparklers if they are old enough).  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set your camera to take long exposure images.  Check your camera manual to find out how to do this.  On my camera the setting was called ‘bulb’.
  2. Put the camera on a tripod or solid surface, so it doesn’t move as you take the picture.
  3. Ready, Set, Go! Take the picture as your child starts drawing with the light source.
  4. Look at the photo (if you have a digital camera), and try again!
In the photo above, both my children held a glowstick in each hand.  My sons’ like this other photo best because it looks like they are holding light sabers.

Photo by Catherine Way

If you have older children you could try drawing or writing a particular message, for example, your child’s name or ‘2012’.  I found with my young children co-ordinating everything was just a bit too difficult.
I hope you and your children enjoy lighting up the new year.
Happy New Year!

How are you planning to celebrate the New Year with your kids?

About Catherine

Catherine Way is mum to two boys living in North Australia. They read lots, run lots, love to learn new things and are good at finding fun and mischief. Catherine blogs about her family adventures and passion for lifelong learning at Indirect Observations.

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  1. Thanks! I love this idea!
    Jessica´s latest post: First sledding!

  2. This year I’m resolving to get outside more this winter instead of hiding from the cold, and to get my kids outside, too. (Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time!)

    Thanks for the tips and the encouragement!
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s latest post: How a Photo Can Save a Child’s Life

  3. fun ideas, Catherine! My kids and husband love flashlight tag. I’m too chicken to run in the dark so the photography idea is perfect for me.
    Melissa @imaginationsoup´s latest post: Most Popular Blog Posts of the Year

  4. Oh what a great idea to use glow sticks in lanterns! A perfect way to still be able to do all those crafts out here where we are in the middle of bush fire season and my kids are acutely aware of the risks and dangers!
    katepickle´s latest post: Time Out, Time Off, Time Over.

  5. T @ aseedinspired says:

    I love this…the kids have fun and I get cool pics…and then the kids are happy again after looking at the pics…
    So many other times to use this.
    T @ aseedinspired´s latest post: Words of Knowledge… or a New Years Day activity, a tutorial.

  6. My daughter will still be in bed well before midnight this year but since it gets dark so early all winter long and she always wants to be outside these ideas are great.
    Steph´s latest post: When You Go Back


  1. […] Play With Light this New Year's Eve — Simple Kids If you subscribe to the blog via RSS feed or via email, you'll get helpful tips and inspiration for simple parenting sent straight to you, for free!The following is by contributor Catherine Way of . sparklers. The following is by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids. New Year's Eve is one night of the year when my children usually stay up long after dark. We give them glowsticks, torches and sparklers. As I watch them playing happily for hours with these simple, […]