Spring has just sprung where we live, which means the kids and I are outside full-time again! One of my 6-year-old son’s favorite things to do outside is hang out in his tent and we occasionally let him stay up late to enjoy it after dark. The best part of nighttime tenting for him is, of course, flashlights and anything else that glows!
This Glow in the Dark Checker Set is easy enough for him to help make and will bring hours of tenting or slumber party fun as he learns to play checkers! I’m sure we’ll be taking it along on real camping trips this summer as well.
Glow in the Dark Checker Set
- 1 1,000-piece bag of glow in the dark pony beads
- 1 12-cup non-stick muffin pan
- 1 20-inch wide straw beach mat
- Masking tape
- Paint brush
- Assorted glow in the dark acrylic paints
1. Use the pony beads to make the checker pieces. Divide them into 2 groups of 3 colors each to create a set of 12 checkers for each player. Pink, blue, and orange for one team and green, yellow, and white for the other team.
2. Fill each cup of the muffin pan with a single layer of the pink/blue/orange beads. Try to get as many as you can in each cup without stacking them on top of each other.
3. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Once it is the correct temperature, put the muffin pan in the oven for 20 minutes. The beads will melt into solid disks. (This will make your kitchen smell like plastic, so you may want to open a window while baking.)
4. Let the disks cool for 10 minutes and then pop them out of the muffin pan. Repeat this process to make a set of 12 green/yellow/white checkers.
5. To make the checker board, lay the beach mat out in front of you. Use your ruler and pencil to locate and mark the center of the mat. Draw an 18″ x 18″ square in the center of the mat. Draw lines to divide the square into a grid of 2.25″ squares. Then draw a 1-2″ border around the entire square.
6. Use the masking tape to tape around the outside of the border. This will give your board a finished, clean line.
7. Using a lighter color, paint the border around the grid. Let this dry.
8. Paint in the squares of the grid with alternating colors to create the game board.
9. Once all the paint has dried, remove the masking tape. Your Glow in the Dark Checker Board Set is all ready! Just remember to let it sit out in the sun or under a strong lamp before using it. This helps it glow!