December 22nd at 5:30 AM is the winter solstice. For parents this means filling long hours of indoor activities or finding creative ways to play in the dark.
We often meet friends at the park right before dusk. After the sun sets, for a special treat we bring out some glow sticks and balloons. Since the kids are familiar with the glow sticks, they know to bend the sticks to initiate the glowing.
While the kids are starting the glow sticks, we start blowing up the balloons. When the balloon is half full of air, we quickly insert a glow stick. This step takes a few trials before we are able to coordinate the operation (imagine balloons zipping all over the playground!).
Once fully inflated and tied off, the balloons are ready for play. B’s friend calls them “twinkle balloons” and enjoys just shaking the glow stick around. B tosses and kicks the balloon around, his face all aglow.
We try various balloons, and ultimately find the best outcome with two glow sticks in a white balloon (Yep, those multi-colored glowing orbs started out white. Pretty neat, yes?).
With the darkness of wintertime setting in, what do you do with your kids to make the best of the early sunsets?