Looking for last minute ideas for a Light Party? Here are 26 tried & tested crafts & games for kids of all ages to enjoy!
Light Parties are a fab opportunity to share fun, faith & light on a dark night. I've been involved in organizing them for the last 12 years, catering both for small gatherings of 20 & larger groups of 100+ children. Each party has offered children, their friends & families a warm welcoming space with no tricks, just lots of fun with plenty of treats. We've offered a variety of activities, games, crafts, music & food, with the key theme of the evening focusing on celebrating light overcoming darkness.
At each event, we've had a selection of around 5 crafts & 7 games & the following are just some of the most popular we've used. They've all been designed for children 4-11yrs, but younger & older children have equally loved them too.
Light Party Craft Ideas
:: Design Your Own Pumpkin
Offer paint, eco-friendly biodegradable glitter, feathers, buttons, tissue paper etc & let the children get creative. For older kids (& better for limited numbers with adult supervision) you could do alternative pumpkin carving, creating hearts, stars, crosses, positive images instead of scary faces.
Bible verse to go with craft: “I am . Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have life." John 8:12
:: Upcycled Lanterns
One of my all-time fave activities. All you need are some recycled jam jars, PVA glue & oodles of coloured tissue paper. Add a tealight & your lanterns are ready to shine. For more info here are some we made a few years ago.
Bible Verse to add to the jar if you wish "You, , are my lamp; You turn my darkness into ." 2 Samuel 22:29
:: Prayer Rocks
Invite the kids to write or draw something they'd like to pray for; it could be a family member, friend, pet, or a current situation in the news, anything that's important to them. When they've finished invite them to add their rock to a prayer cairn on a nearby table.
"Do not be worry about anything, hand it over to God in prayer"Philippians 4:6
:: Mask Making
Use a simple eye mask template & have a table full of shiny sparkly craft items for the children to get creative with. Pens (glow-in-the-dark, or neon) eco-glitter, feathers, kitchen foil, scraps of tissue paper, buttons, scraps of ribbon, pompoms have all created some amazing masks.
:: Clay Candle Holders
A super simple activity for all ages. A cost-effective idea too as one large bag of clay goes a long way! Here's how we made ours.
If you want to add a text alongside you could use; "Shine as a Light in the World"
:: Recycled Stained Glass Window
Collect any old plastic lids from your recycling & use colourful Sharpies/glass pens to create images of things that create light (sun, stars, moon, rainbow, lighthouse,) Add a small hole in the top & thread cotton through so you can hang your mini stained glass in a window at home.
Add Bible Verse "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14 on a sticker attached to the thread.
:: Psalm 139 Mirrors
Cut some black card to A5 size & attach a mirror (like these from Baker Ross) to the centre. Have copies of Psalm 139 or verses from it covering a table. Invite the children to write all their qualities, skills & things they like about themselves around the mirror (some children may need some prompting) We found bright colourful chalk pens work really well on the black card.
Add a verse from Psalm 139 on the back.
:: The Universe in a Jar
Add eco-friendly glitter, some warm water, glycerine & a few drops of blue/purple liquid food colouring to a jar (or recycled plastic bottle), attach the lid firmly & watch the glitter swirl as you gently shake it. As you shake it thank God for our amazing world, may we always take care of it.
Attach this verse on a label; ", Psalm 8:9
:: DIY Superhero Cuffs
Turn yourself into a Superhero with these Superhero cuffs from Kids Activities. Great for younger children, encouraging imagination, & thinking about different Super Powers. You could encourage the children to think about the different superpowers they already have... Kindness, love, friendship etc.
Attach this Bible verse to the cuffs; “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13
:: Make a Bonfire Cake
This collaborative activity can be created during the evening & then shared together at the end of the party. Here's our Recipe. Add fountain candles or mini sparklers (with adult supervision) & celebrate with light & chocolate cake!
:: Make mini glow in the dark lava lamps
Ideal for smaller groups of children, these work best with a black light/UVA light. Add fluorescent paint to water & mix well. Half fill another glass with vegetable oil, then slowly pour over the paint mixture. Once the mixtures have settled, drop in an Alka Seltzer tablet & watch your Lava Lamp bubble away.
Suggested Bible verse: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
:: Glow in the Dark Edible Cookies.
Decorate cookies with magical glow icing. We use rich tea biscuits or homemade cookies as a base & invite the kids to decorate their cookie with the glow icing & a selection of sweets. To make the icing we add a small amount of tonic water to a cup of icing sugar (powdered sugar) & mix until smooth & slightly runny. You really don't need to use much of the tonic water. To make the cookies glow place them in front of a black light.
Suggested Bible verse: "Taste & see that the Lord is good" Psalm 34:8
:: Friendship Bracelets
Great for making alongside friends at the Light Party or to give to friends the next day. We've used neon paracord to create chunky style bracelets or a variety of colourful embroidery threads for thinner more detailed designs. Search YouTube for 'simple friendship bracelets' if you need some design ideas.
Print out on a large sheet of paper "Encourage one another and build each other up..." Thessalonians 5:1l.
:: Glow Slime
Always popular especially if they can take a little home in a small container.
The recipe we've used is similar to this one from Left Brain Right Brain.
:: Paper Cup Lanterns
So effective & great for all ages to create. Here's how we made ours.
Suggested bible verse to add to each lantern: "Your word is a lamp to guide me Psalm 119:105
:: Glow in the dark face paint/body paint
This is always popular. Cover a table & set up a body paint area where kids can decorate the hands or arms or faces with neon face paint. Ask an adult to do face painting for the evening using these glow in the dark paints, or set up an area where you can paint the children's nails with bright or glowing nail varnish.
Make your mark & glow in the dark. You could use "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16
:: Make your own Glow in the Dark Play Dough
This can be made in advanced for children to play with, or they could make it from scratch during the party. Here's our recipe. Great for Glow in the Dark Play Dough Prayers too.
Print out: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5
Light Party Games & Challenges
:: Pumpkin Jenga!
Ok well not exactly pumpkins, but you get the idea (see the pic at the top of this post). Have a basket of satsumas alongside a pot of Sharpie pens for the children to draw a pumpkin face on the fruit. Invite them to stack their 'pumpkins' & see how high they can get them in 1 minute. When they've finished their game they can either eat the fruit or take one home at the end of the evening.
:: Glow in the Dark Ten Pin Bowling
Here's a simple DIY version from My Kids' Adventures
:: You've been Giftwrapped!
Celebrating that we're each a unique gift the aim of the game is to wrap an adult head to toe in either loo roll or thin paper gift wrap. We normally have 2 teams with an adult in each & as many kids who want to join in & wrap them up in a given time. Complete the wrapping with a bow on the top of their head. The team to wrap their gift in the fastest time wins.
:: Glow in the Dark Hockey
If you have enough contained space this is a great game for 8-10 players. Stick some glow in the dark tape on the floor to create a mini hockey pitch & add some strips of tape to a set of plastic hookey sticks. Create 2 hockey goals by attaching more tape to the corners of mini football nets, throw in a glow in the dark ball & some reflective jackets/glow in the dark bands for players to wear & you're ready to go! For the best glow in the dark effect play either in dim light or with black-lighting.
:: Glow in the Dark Twister
Create your own version of this popular game with this tutorial from Holidappy
:: Doughnuts on a string
It's a classic but the kids love it! Hang small doughnuts or party ring biscuits from lengths of string, the children then have to eat it without using their hands.
:: Glow Hoopla
Make hoops with glow sticks to throw over bottles/containers filled securely with water/sand. To make the containers glow simply stick 4 glow sticks to the sides. You can make this game as simple or as complicated as you like by adding obstacles in front of the containers.
:: Glow in the Dark Balloon Volleyball
Again this a perfect game for a large clear space & great for encouraging children to work together. You can buy glowing nets or make your own with some glow in the dark tape. We've used a glow in the dark balloon ball like these from the Glow Company & given players high-vis jackets to wear.
:: Glow Treasure Hunt
Write or draw clues on black card using Ultra Violet marker pens & hide them around the room. You won't be able to see what's on them in normal light. Invite teams to search for clues together using a black light torch. When they've collected them all & worked out the answers offer a prize. These pens from Amazon are great for this.
Whatever activities you're using for your Light Party, I hope it goes brilliantly & shines brightly!