Bloomsbury Early Years

Activity Type:


Characteristics of Effective Learning:

Finding out & exploring


Food, Winter

Type of Content:


Related Activities

Glow-in-the-dark noodles

Show children how the property of food can change

by Alistair Bryce-Clegg


Children will be amazed to discover that these noodles glow in the dark! The noodles also demonstrate a change in property when they are added to hot water. Using chopsticks is also a good opportunity to strengthen fine motor skills. This activity can be tied in with the theme of your setting or used as a way to teach children about Chinese New Year.

What you need

  • Pan

  • Tonic water

  • Thread noodles

  • Access to a hob

  • Colander or sieve

  • Black light

  • Bowls

  • Chopsticks

What you do

  1. Fill a pan with tonic water.

  2. Add the noodles and cook as per the instructions. (The adult should be in control here, but the child can observe.)

  3. When the noodles are cooked, drain them using the colander or sieve.

  4. Display in a dark space using a black light. Watch the noodles glow!

  5. Encourage the children to explore the texture of the noodles. They could use chopsticks to help.

What you say

  • What do you notice about the noodles once they have been added to water?

  • How do you think you hold chopsticks?

  • Can you think of anything else that glows in the dark?

Ready for more?

  • Add glow-in-the-dark paint to make different colours, but make sure that the children don't eat the coloured noodles!

  • Cook noodles on a larger scale and fill a water tray with them. Encourage children to explore the texture with their hands or even their feet.

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