glow in the dark ice cubes

Glowing ice cubes easy home science experiment might just be the thing for dark evenings during winter! This is a flexible experiment that parents may do repeatedly with slight changes. Science vocabulary could easily be incorporated as in hypothesis for prediction, and observation for noticing — or not, depending on the age of your child. The free PDF printable has a few vocabulary cards as well as number labels for the liquids you may have on hand. Basically, tonic water and a black light bulb will provide an exciting experiment.

Free PDF to accompany this experiment free instant download here: glow-in-the-dark-ice-cubes-information

we used three different types of tonic water

We began with three different types of tonic water which we only had on hand due to grocery store substitutions. This is not medical advice, but it seems to help with infrequent mouth sores in our family. Anyway, we happened to have 3 kinds. We wondered if the brand would make any difference in the amount of glow, and we think it did, although slightly. I am not a brand influencer and am not recommending any certain kind. It did seem Indian River tonic water was the best. It was the most “fizzy” and fun to pour. We would probably never have chosen it in a store, but it arrived at our house and we were curious. Use any kind available!

simple-glow-in-the-dark-ice-cubes-experiment (5)

Label 3 bottles or 3 jars 1, 2, and 3. If wanted, add the name of the liquid to the labels. Quinine water will glow in the dark when frozen.

*Note to parents: Use what you have on hand and what is available. 

All good experiments begin with a  question. When children guess what the answer might be, tell them they are predicting or hypothesizing a possible outcome.

Question: Do you think any of these liquids will glow when frozen? Which might glow? Why do you think so?

Experiment by using 3 different liquids such as 3 kinds of tonic water or use plain water and clear pop for two of them.

Observe: When frozen, place the ice cubes under a black light. Only a black light bulb is required, no fancy lamp. Let the children look and consider the results.

What is the conclusion? Were the children correct?

For fun: Place the ice cubes in the sink in some water, place the blacklight nearby, and let the children play while the ice melts. Just a very short time and spoons should be used, not hands. 

Option: Use vocabulary cards with older children if wanted.

  • Avoid looking directly at the ultraviolet “black light” and shining it on your skin because the light can damage your eyes and skin.

Thank you for reading, Carolyn


This page has links to free science printable blog posts.  The printables and resources are available at the blog post links. There are more, so please use the search bar in the top right of each page to search for other resources.


The bubbling snowman is simply a version of using baking soda and vinegar which children never seem to become tired of doing. When the bubbling begins, it looked like it is snowing.  Please see the blog post here for more information and a short video.

The Bubbling Snowman and Science Fun

The bubbling snowman is simply a version of using baking soda and vinegar which children never seem to become tired of doing. When the bubbling begins, it looked like it is snowing.  Please see the blog post here for more information and a short video.


Information about a free magnets printable is at this blog post. The printable will be found in our free eMembers area.


Have you see the dancing dime experiment to demonstrate that warm air takes up more space than cold air? See the post at this link for more information as well as a very short video.


Free student interactive notebook printable for studying plants on the prairie at this blog post. What plants and animals live on the prairie? Find out in this printable.


free printable with matching cards for teaching about bogs is at this blog post. The suggested text is not required for using the cards in the PDF, but some source of information would be nice to have on hand.


The nocturnal animals printable in French and English is available with both realistic animal photos and with clipart. Teachers may select which option they prefer. The French cards are in a separate section in the printable, so if only one language is wanted, just print those pages.


Observe and journal about a tree for an outdoors science activity. Visit the same tree a each season of the year to notice what is happening. More information and a free PDF is available at the blog post.


Social distancing animal paws and hooves sit and stand spots freebie in two printing sizes.


Science experiments at home using test tubes, nature print paper activities, and breaking open geodes. See the information at this blog post.


Build a solar oven and bake smores (free printable at the post)


Leaf-shaped 3-part cards printable — download at this blog post link.


Vertebrates/invertebrates sort, free PDF, instant download at the blog post.

Changing Seasons Graphing Activities

Northern and Southern Hemispheres Changing Seasons activities printable for the center or as a guided activity, free at this link.


62 page printable where children may sort singular and plural animals words, make an emergent reader by cutting and stapling pages, as well as use their Sudoku skills. Free download at the post.


Math and nature Fibonacci posters can be downloaded in the free eMember area. 


Solar Bead Necklaces are amazing for children but do not tell the secret while inside and working on the project. Let children discover for themselves how the sun causes these beads to reveal their colors.  They will be happy to share the information with you! For information please see the blog post at this link.


Watch Me Grow, Rabbit is a nonfiction book for children with facts, information, and photos that show how rabbits grow and live. The free printable at the blog post has a worksheet and answer key to accompany the text.


Cleaning pennies with kitchen staples such as ketchup.


Grow crystals over night using tissue paper instead of coal, and a few household ingredients.  See information and printable directions which open here.

Animal Group Names Coloring Pages Freebie

Another fun page is an animal groups coloring page freebie.


Here is another free lesson with an activity where the students act out the inner ear to help them understand how we hear.


Two freebies for Tracks in the Wild by Betsy Bowen — work page, answer key, and 3-part cards.

Glowing Ice Cubes Easy Home Science Experiment

Glowing ice cubes easy home science experiment might just be the thing for early dark evenings during winter!

plant growth observation journal

For Everyone

Hundreds of Free PDF Downloads



per month

Download the hundreds of files without joining the site.


Free eMember

Your Own eMember Page



per month

Free to join!  Set your own login and password.

Premium Amember Page

$5 pay once eMembership


Protected files are included in the Premium eMember area. Set your own login and password.