The Best Glow in the Dark Toys for Toddlers (and Older Kids Too!)
When my kids were really little, we used to play hide and the seek in the house after dark using glow sticks. One of my girls found it scary, so we renamed the game “Hide and Hug” and everybody would hug the person when they were found. This worked much better!
No matter what age you are, glow in the dark toys can be both fun and useful as:
- A safely tool when going trick or treating on Halloween
- A substitute for sparklers on July Fourth
- Easy stocking stuffers and party favors
And it goes without saying that they’re great during a trip to Disney World.
You don’t even need it to be dark for them to come in handy: I’ve heard of parents using them for parties at indoor play places to keep track of all the kids. How clever!
I found these colorful, creative, and highly-rated toys that offer glow in the dark fun for kids of all ages, from babies and toddlers through preschool and teens.
There are a LOT of toys in this post, so I highly recommend that you use the Table of Contents to navigate it!
✅ Glow in the Dark Tents for Kids
If you have kids — or have ever been a kid — then you know how much fun it is to build a fort. What could be more fun that your own tent that glows at night?
Galaxy Dome Tent with Glow in the Dark Stars
This toy is Amazon’s Choice in the category of “glow in the dark tent.”
The tent is covered with has glow in the dark stars that are light-activated. The dimensions are 48″ X 48″ X 42″, which makes it large enough to invite a couple friends. It comes with a carrying bag so you can easily take it to the park or to grandma’s house.
Amazon reviewer Luv2Life purchased two of these tents for her boys and had some helpful tips and info about them:
A few things to note:
1. Delivers in the actual tent box, not a brown box, so everyone will see what you ordered.
2. This is an indoor tent. It says indoor / outdoor but the tent doors do not zip thus making it an excellent indoor only tent. The tent doors (front and side) have Velcro to keep them shut and they do not fully seal.
3. The size is good for one of our boys (age 8) to fit a couple pillows, blankets and some toys. The tent has a front door and a side door. The side door is round where you could add a tunnel (that you can purchase separately) otherwise both door covers roll open and can have Velcro to keep them open.
4. It is easy to assemble. Two sets of poles, that are color coded. Took me 60 seconds.
5. Has a hook inside for a lantern or light. Wish I had purchased a couple lanterns in advance.
6. Nice material / quality. I really liked this purchase.
7. The stars / planet design and colors are primary and nice. My kids really liked them.
Glow in the Dark Crazy Fort
This is a very different type of tent, but also very highly rated.
This is a “build your own tent” kit that comes with 25 glowing balls and 44 green rods sticks that connect so your kids can build their own structures.
When you’re finished building, throw a sheet over it to create your fort.
This is the tent to choose if you love the idea of kids spending time with the building and creativity part, whereas the Galaxy Dome tent is a better choice is you just want a cute, portable tent.
✅ Glow in the Dark Science Experiment Kits
My middle child, Rebecca, has always loved science kits and experiments, and the gooey-er and messy-er, the better. These kits are right up her alley.
Playz Glow in The Dark Slime Lab Science Kit w/ 19+ Experiments
This kit is advertised for kids ages 8-12 and includes experiments for things like Glowing Dough, Scented Fluffy Slime, Luminescent Blood, and Shampoo Slime.
One thing that I particularly like about this kit is that it appears to include everything you will need — not just the obscure, science-y things like guar gum, photoluminescent coloring, and test tubes, but also “simple” things like rubber bands and straws. Sure, I can get those easily, but I may or may not have them (or be able to find them) at the moment, and I don’t want a trip to the store to hold us up from diving into the experiments.
SmartLab Toys Glow-In-The-Dark Lab
This kit is aimed for kids about second or third grade and up and contains a 24-page book with twenty different chemistry experiments that introduce different principles. For example, the “Ooey-Glowy-Oobleck” experiment says at the top of the page, “Principles: Phosphorescence-NonNewtonian Fluids.”
Note: Be aware that this kit does not include everything you need to complete all the experiments, and you will need to check your pantry and/or go shopping before you do these experiments.
Some of the things you will need to provide yourself include food coloring, white glue, cornstarch, vinegar, vegetable oil, plastic bags, and eggs in an egg carton.
Thames & Kosmos Crystal Growing: Glow in The Dark Science Experiment Kit
This kit allows you to grow dozens of your own colorful crystals in the shapes of moons, stars, butterflies, and frogs.
Reviewers were a little mixed on this kit, and it definitely sounds like a kit that is a) Not for younger kids; and b) somewhat labor-intensive.
While other reviewers loved the cool crystal shapes they got and said they learned a lot from the kit , reviewer CG called it a “frustrating experience” and listed 7 reasons why they disliked this kit.
Mini Explorer Light-up Terrarium Kit for Kids
Create a miniature garden in a 4×6 inch jar that glows at night time, thanks to the LED under the jar lid. The kit includes soil, seeds, blue sand, a miniature bunny, and stickers for the jar, making it not just a fun learning experience, but also a cute decoration for your home.
Amazon reviewer Ms. Casa Blanca says this makes a great gift for both boys and girls:
I bought two of these for my grandsons, an almost 8 yr old and brothers aged 6.5 and 5. It is very easy and well constructed. They all needed my help to assemble the soil and use the spray bottle to moisten the rocks and soil but were delighted to place the figurines, put the stickers on and turn the light on. They have placed the terrarium in a sunny window and will keep me posted regarding the sprouting of the seeds.
It comes with a small computer cord to charge the LED light which is in the lid….it is an awesome little project that the kids all understood and they loved looking in at the figures with the light on. When done sprouting the jar and lid (where the light and switch are) can easily be used for another growing project or adding figurines, etc. Very clear and easy instructions! It was a hit for the boys, just this weekend we had an early Christmas.
Did you ever wonder how these nifty glow in the toys actually work?
The “magic” of luminescence is due to chemicals known as phosphors. They store energy and then slowly release that stored energy over time, letting out small amounts of light as they do so.
Two of the most common phosphors used in creating glow in the dark toys are zinc sulfide and strontium aluminate. The toy manufacturers will mix it into plastic, then mold it into the desired shape.
Video – How Do Glow in the Dark Toys Work?
Glow in the Dark Alien Toys
It makes sense that aliens from outer space would glow in the dark, right? Well … sort of. Here are several toys that use the concept of glowing aliens.
Tiny Glow in the Dark Alien Figures
These glow in the dark aliens are so funny that I’m seriously thinking of getting them for my husband. I think he would get a kick out of them, and a few of them would look cute hanging out around his computer at work.
They are about an inch tall, made of semi-soft plastic material, and have a few different poses amongst them. They work great as cupcake toppers, party favors, and putting inside clear plastic eggs for a nighttime Easter egg hunt.
Stuffed Light-Up Alien
This soft, cute toy is 8 inches long. Not only do its eyes glow, but it also flickers when you squeeze its left foot.
Reviewers loved this toy, using terms like “super cute,” “freaking cute,” abd “absolutely adorable.”
They also liked how it was soft, the perfect size for kids to carry everywhere they go, and that it wipes clean easily.
Several people also bought them in two colors so their alien could have a buddy.
(Click here to see a photo of 2 aliens hanging out together.)
Glow-in-The-Dark UFO Space Ship and Bendable Alien
This is a great gift for science fiction nerds and collectors of all ages. This bendable, posable alien figure glows in the dark and has his very own UFO.
Glow-in-the-Dark 6″ Bendable Alien
-Detailed face/torso modeling
-Bright glow immediately after intense light exposure
-Very cute! Quaint and endearing story on the box. You definitely want to keep the packaging.
-Inconsistent quality: some glow brighter than others, have minor painting flaws
-Unlike head, body is translucent, leaving wires visible and does not glow nearly as bright as head
-Requires very close exposure to intense light to achieve bright glow, which fades to a dull and dim green within 20 seconds.
-Lack of detail in lower body (would be nice to have differentiated ankles and knees and feet instead of “boots”
-Lack of posesability in neck, hands. Poses come undone after a minute or so.
-Strong plastic smell out of the box. Went away mostly after two weeks use. Ventilate!
I rather like the figure despite its many flaws. It’s strange to me that there are so few similar glow-in-the-dark alien figurines on the market – this is really the only one of decent size and quality I found.
I would mainly make two suggestions to manufacturer: make them in more colors, and apply the same quality of material and detail to the rest of the body as the head has.
Alien Glow-in-the-Dark Bendable Keychain
Not only is this keychain cute, but it has the added benefit of helping you find your keys when they get buried at the bottom of your purse or backpack.
✅ Glow in the Dark Outdoor Toys
The obvious place to have fun with glow in the dark toys is — outside! In the dark! (Or almost dark.)
Check out these toys that are great for outdoor parties and other get-togethers.
LED Light-Up Flying Disc
This flying disc comes in blue, red, green, and multicolor. It’s electronic, so don’t make the mistake of playing with it near a pool or too close to the ocean at the beach.
This disc is great for Ultimate Frisbee practice and has a much softer plastic than other UF discs, so it is easier to throw and less painful to catch. However, it can’t be used in an actual UF game because it is 185g instead of 175g and has the battery compartment in the middle. I don’t know a thing about Ultimate Frisbee, but I’ll take people’s word for it!
Glow in the Dark “Capture the Flag” Game Set
Hoping to lure a group of kids away from their phones and videos games and get them running around and having a great time outside? This game might actually help do the trick.
Amazon reviewer StageMom23 describes her family’s experience:
I took a chance on getting this game for my son and his friends to play at his graduation party. These are 18 year olds, mind you, who are known for being glued to their phones. My 20 year old daughter got in on the action and was the most enthusiastic player of all! It’s your standard game of Capture the Flag but it’s way cooler playing it at night with glowing orbs!
As others have mentioned, there are issues with the bracelets breaking and some just refuse to snap back together. If this problems ever gets fixed, this game will be a 100% winner. We gave the broken ones to the girls and they wore them in their hair. Not the intended method but it worked for them.
It was fabulous to see a bunch of older kids running around at top speeds, exercising, laughing and cheering at the same time. They would have played longer but it was very hot and humid that night so everyone was tired and sweaty. Just be sure you play in an area with no obstacles, including holes or rocks. The kids were so absorbed with the game they never even looked where they were going! Totally recommend this game for kids of ALL ages. What a fun way to exercise and have fun with a group. Plus, everyone who drove by our house slowed down to see what all the moving, glowing objects were!!! Next time I’m playing!
Glow in the Dark LED Outdoor Football
This green and blue football is designed to light up specifically upon impact or during movement (as shown in this super-quick video). So it’s not wasting its “glowing power” when it’s not in use. (This is particularly a good thing when it comes to kids, who could easily forget to turn off the switch, or even lose or forget about the ball for a few hours or days.)
However, some reviewers said that this intermittent lighting made it difficult to actually play with in the dark. Perhaps this is a toy better suited for “dusk games,” or for more casual toss-around fun, as opposed to an attempt at a real game of football.
Glow in the Dark Spikeballs
I absolutely love the TV show Shark Tank, so I’m partial to any product, like SpikeBall, that was featured on that show. Described as a cross between volleyball and Four Square, Spikeball was originally invented in the 1980’s and then revived again recently.
This set comes with 2 Spikeballs that glow in the dark.
Glow in the Dark Outdoor Pool Toys
Glow in the Dark Pool Game Kit
Light-up Beach Ball
✅ Glow in the Dark Toy Cars
My son Benjamin was crazy about cars and trucks of all kinds when he was little. He would have loved these toys.
Glow in the Dark Tracks & Race Cars
This toys is Amazon’s Choice in the category of “glow in the dark cars.”
The set includes 320 pieces of interchangeable track, 2 race cars, instruction guide, stickers & ramp attachments. Track quickly snaps together & can be bent, looped & flexed in different ways.
The LED cars each require 3 AAA batteries, which are not included.
One important note that I never would have thought about: If your child have long hair, make sure they pull it back. It’s easy for hair to get stuck in the wheels!
Neon Glow in the Dark Track with Light-Up Sports Car
✅ Glow in the Dark Party Supplies
Planning a party? Whether you’re looking for party favors, activities for a game to play in the dark, or both, check out these party goodies.
Glow in the Dark Party Favors Pack
Want 456 glow sticks and other toys for less than $20?
This pack will give you everything you need for a huge party and still have plenty leftover for football games, trick or treaters, your next trip to Disney World … and you’ll still have plenty leftover for next year!
- 200 Glow Sticks
- 200 Bracelet Connectors
- 12 Eyeglasses Connectors
- 12 Flower/Ball Connectors
- 4 Triple Connectors
- 4 Butterfly Bracelet Connectors
They claim to last for 10 hours of glow time and come in 7 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and pink.
Glow in the Dark Lizards
These lizards are simple, but sure to delight little kids.
Each set comes with a dozen lizards, each about five inches long, in a variety of colors. They are great for favors or for a backyard treasure hunt at a kid’s party. They’re also a clever way to accent Halloween decorations. Amazon reviewer Mary C. Collins says, “These were perfect for gluing inside my large witch’s cauldron and they glow in the dark so they were perfect for my outdoor display for the kids on Halloween night.”
DIY Glow in the Dark Party Ideas
I went looking on Pinterest for some creative DIY ideas for a full-blown glow in the dark party.
Glow in the Dark Jell-O
Did you know that tonic water glows in the dark — and that if you use tonic water to make green Jell-O, the Jell-O will glow in the dark?
Nope, I didn’t, either.
Apparently the tonic water has a bit of a bitter taste, so you might want to mix it with a little bit of “regular” water, add extra sugar, and/or top the Jell-O with plenty of whipped cream.
NOTE: You’ll need to place the Jell-O under a light like this to get it to glow.
DIY Glow Stick Wreath
Here’s a simple and inexpensive way to make your own glow in the dark party decoration. All you need is a glue gun, a bunch of glow stick bracelets from the Dollar Store, and a foam wreath circle.
DIY Glow in the Dark Ring Toss Game
Here’s a simple party game kids will like. Just decorate glass bottles with mini glow in the dark duct tape and toss glow sticks bracelets onto them.
The Best Disney Glow Sticks and Light Up Wands
✅ Glow Toys for Bedtime
Bedtime is the best time for glow in the dark toys! Not only can they be comforting for children who are afraid of the dark … but they’re just really cool!
Glow in the Dark Stars, Moons, and Planets
I think just about any kid would love the feeling of sleeping under the stars and moon every night while in their own bedroom. Some kids get really into this and love to learn about the science behind the constellation and solar system.
Galaxy Glow Star and Solar System Decal Set for Kids’ Bedrooms
Glow in The Dark Stars and Planets Wall Stickers
Homics Glow in The Dark Moon Wall Decals
Glowing Star Sticker Launcher
Here’s something different! This sticker launcher is kind of like a nerf gun that shoots glow in the dark star sticker onto the wall and ceiling.
It comes with four sheets of stickers and you can buy extras, like these butterfly stickers. It takes AA batteries which are not included.
The sticker don’t stay on much longer than a few days, which is a plus if you like the idea of easily reusing them. However, if your point is to decorate a room for a few months, you’d probably be better off getting something like these vinyl wall decals. These sticker launchers are more about the shooting than the decorating.
Stuffed Puppy Night Light
This adorable little doggie is Amazon’s Choice in the category of “light up stuffed animals.”
It’s available in blue, pink, and white.
The lights turn off automatically after 30 minutes, or by pressing the puppy’s paw.
It requires three AAA batteries, which are not included.
White Glowing Stuffed Teddy Bear for Bedtime
Isn’t this plush teddy bear just adorable?
It’s white, made of cotton, eight inches tall, and super soft. When you press the “On” button, the LED lights inside glow and change colors. This is a great gift if you want to give something a little more interesting than just your ordinary bear. It works wonderfully as a nightlight and cn be very soothing to toddlers at bedtime.
It requires two AA batteries, which are not included.
More Glow in the Dark Stuffed Animals for Bedtime
I love all these stuffed animals!
Books for Bedtime that Glow in the Dark
Either this is a new thing, or I totally missed it when my kids were little … but yes, there are children’s books that glow in the dark!
What Was I Scared Of? by Dr. Seuss
I am a huge Dr. Seuss fan!
Remember The Sneetches and Other Stories? This book takes the last story from that book (the one about the “pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them” and made it into its own book with glow in the dark ink, perfect for reading under the covers at bedtime.
Amazon reviewer Leslie Gordon offers a little trick to get more “glowing action” from this book:
I discovered a trick to this. Thought I’d share because I just knew some would complain about the glow part. The story is fantastic of course, classic Seuss, with a powerful moral about understanding your “enemy”. The pictures just don’t hold a glow charge long.
Make it extra fun by grabbing a flashlight, turning out the lights, and as you read each page with the flashlight, you’ll be charging the pics. Then after you read each page, cover the light for as spooky fun glow. Repeat each page.
Night Lights (The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That) by Tish Rabe
Based on the PBS Kids’ tv show The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, this educational book about fireflies includes 2 pages of glow stickers.
Glow-in-the-Dark Constellations by C. E. Thompson
This is a great book for early elementary school-aged children who want to learn more about the constellations.
It includes glow-in-the-dark illustrations of the constellations, eight sky maps, and the stories behind the constellations. It also has Helpful tips on locating stars in the night sky through every season of the year. Perfect for taking on a family camping trip!
Glow in the Dark Sensory Toys for Kids
My middle child has always been a very kinetic learner ever since she was a toddler. She wanted to touch and squeeze everything. (Today she is a teenager and is a proficient baker, artist, and is interested in possibly becoming a doctor … so that’s what’s being a sensory child can look like as they get older.)
These toys have both a calming visual and touch component. Whether your child is a kinetic learner, special needs, or just thinks it “feels good,” these light-up toys can help them calm down or stay focused. (And I’m sure they could do the same for more than a couple adults, as well!)
Edushape Glow In The Dark Sensory Ball
This ball is intended for ages 6 months and up. It has a “nubbly surface” that enhances tactile development, and it encourages motor skill development like gripping, tossing, bouncing, and rolling.
It’s 7 inches in diameter and weighs about a third of a pound.
Amazon reviewer Yve Smith in the United Kingdom says:
One of baby’s favourites and one of ours. He loves to watch us pass, throw and bounce the ball, he loves to push it and watch it roll around on the floor, he loves to grasp it, hit it, chew it, headbutt it, and he LOVES it if we gently pass it to him.
He’s just starting to crawl and I’m sure he’ll be chasing it around the floor in no time. Can keep him entertained longer than any of his other toys. Great texture and nicely squishy.
Glow in the Dark Stretchy Strings
This toys boasts that it’s “perfect as a sensory toy for autistic children,” but I can tell you from experience that you don’t need to be autistic to have a compulsive urge to pull and twist things.
In fact, just reading the description makes me want to run out and buy a pack for myself.
These strings are each 11 inches long (but can stretch to 9 feet!) and come in a 6-Pack of 6 different colors. You can wrap them, stretch them, squeeze them, squish them, twirl them … yes, please give me some right now!
Amazon reviewer Sarah explains why these strings are better than fidget spinners:
Great tactile product; we use to help ease anxiety and remain focused on tasks at hand. They feel good in your hands, are very sturdy, stretchy and squishy. Can be used in a plethora of ways; my daughter likes to wrap them around her hand and “pulse” them, swing them around, or even braid them together.
The effect is like that of a fidget-spinner, but these are silent so they’re not a distraction to others in the room. The glow-in-the-dark feature is a fun extra, but I don’t know whether that accomplishes anything. Excellent value.
NOTE: There were some negative reviews that claimed these glowed in the dark very little or not at all. You can read all the 1-star reviews here.
DIY Sensory Toys that Glow in the Dark
Glow in the Dark Sensory Rice Bottle
I could see this rice bottle keeping some kids busy for a long time!
First make some glow in the dark rice using this pigment.
DIY Sensory Bottle with Mini Glow Sticks
This is really easy (and cheap) to make!
Just pour clear dish soap into a bottle until the bottle is 75% full. Add water to fill the rest of it up, then crack a some mini glow sticks and drop them in!
Video — DIY Glow in the Dark Crafts for Kids
Glow in the Dark Toys for Dogs
Why should be kids be the only ones to have all the fun?
Your dog will enjoy playing with these toys — and these products that will help keep them safe on nighttime outings.
Chuckit! Max Glow Ball for Dogs
Gnawsome Squeak and Light Ball for Dogs
Jawz Glow Dog Frisbee
The Best Light Up Dog Collars
Illumiseen LED Dog Necklace Collar with USB Rechargeable Loop