I was talking to my friend Emily again the other night (after we'd made our blue Edible Glowing Oobleck) and she convinced me to see what other safe and edible things I could find that glowed. Though tonic water glows, it's very smelly if concentrated, and I have not been able to find any tonic water that doesn't have a ton of high fructose corn syrup. So tonic water, while a safe glow water, had its limitations: a smelly sticky bath just wouldn't work for us. I wondered if there were any alternatives to tonic water to create a safe glowing water for kids to play with (or if I could even find a glow water that would be safe to add to a bath)!
A little Googling found me this list of things that fluoresce. Some more Googling led me to believe that I wanted a B vitamin high in Thiamine if I wanted a really great glow with a blacklight.
So off we went to the store to see what we could find.
We found just the perfect vitamin, and brought it home. To make our safe glow water we combined:
Two of this vitamin, crushed <---- CLICK for the vitamin details
(Each brand calls it something different - to be sure you are getting the correct vitamin (not all glow brightly), either buy this one via Amazon or write down all the ingredients and amounts and find a B vitamin whose ingredients match these at the store)
Using a kitchen mallet and ziploc bag, S helped me pound the vitamin into powder and we added it to a glass of warm water and she stirred. Once it was pretty dissolved, we added the cup of vitamin water to a tub of regular water and swished it around. Now just to be totally clear, though this is edible, it's not intended for kids to just drink down by the cup full. The vitamins are adult strength. They are super diluted of course, but please don't serve your child a cup of glowing bath water. :) It is, however, not a problem if they accidentally splash some in their face or mouth, or get a stray mouthful or two. For those of you with concerns about absorption (There is no research indicating that this amount of dilute vitamins could/would be dangerous in any way and my pediatrician's office confirms that this amount is too dilute to absorb through the skin), you can dramatically reduce the amount of vitamin per several gallons of water and still have a great glow. For reference, this is about the amount in an energy drink. If you have concerns about the use of a blacklight, I again encourage you to contact your pediatrician. As with all play materials/activities, the decision is yours. :)
I originally intended for the kids to play in a big bin of water, but couldn't find one that would fit in the tub while they were there. And the brilliant thing about this is that it is super safe. It's not sticky. It's just perfect for a glowing bath. So that's what we did!
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Though our bath glowed brightly with just one crushed vitamin, it was even brighter with two, so that's what we ended up doing. I did a bunch of digging on Amazon and found this vitamin (UK link to the vitamin) (Aussie link to the vitamin) whose composition exactly matches our store-bought vitamin (and if you make your baths the same way, it will cost you on average just pennies a bath - cool!). If you want this very vibrant glow I'd recommend either buying the one I linked to or jotting down the quantities (there's a photo in the Amazon store that lists all the information) for when you go to the store, as I suspect the results vary a lot depending on the vitamin's composition. Ours was Kroeger Brand, if that helps anyone. You will also need a Blacklight, as this is a fluorescing reaction - not a glow in the dark (like a glow-in-the-dark paint might be).**
**Please use caution with a plugged in blacklight and water, as you would with any plugged in device and water - use with a GFI outlet - standard to all bathrooms built to code**
Rather than make a fancy bath (I just am not that creative!), we just collected several items we already had that fluoresced (it was a fun scavenger hunt!) and added them all to the bath:
White Dollar Tree Funnels
Boon Bath Shapes
X was again totally fascinated - they both loved it so much!
For more glowing fun, check out our other posts that glow:
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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children. As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family. I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.