It’s the most wonderful time of year! Sleigh bells ringing, cookies baking, it must mean one thing—the Christmas season is upon us. What is more magical than a child at Christmastime? From the anticipation of gifts on Christmas morning, to the wonderful memories made with family and friends, it is a time of year that is cherished by so many.
This year, you might find yourself looking for creative ways to connect, and engage with your kids in a socially distant manner. Look no further! We present to you, the next big Christmas tradition for your family—the Glow-in-the-dark Christmas ball hunt.
What is a Christmas Ball Hunt?
Why should Easter have all the fun? There are a few variations of Christmas hunts that your family can enjoy together. Daylight savings time has the sun setting before 6 pm, which is the perfect opportunity to do a glow in the dark hunt outside and still get the little ones to bed at a decent hour.
How to do a Glow-in-the-Dark Christmas Ball Hunt
To get started, gather a variety of clear plastic Christmas ornaments. They can be old ones you no longer need, or a cheap bulk pack from the craft store. Be sure to only use plastic so there’s no chance of broken glass in any of those little fingers!
There are a few options to put into the balls to make them glow, but I personally love the battery powered Christmas lights. Battery powered tea lights also have the same effect. Mini glow sticks are another option but make it a bit more challenging, since they don’t give off as much light.
Make Your Hunt Special
Be creative and make it fun for you and the kids. If your family likes to craft, use modge podge or glue and some glitter on the inside of the balls for an extra magical effect. After the ornaments are decorated to your liking, just drop a light into the ball, and reattach the metal insert to the top of the ornament.
Time for the Hunt
Now that you are prepped and ready, the fun begins! Parents go outside to hide the Christmas ornaments at dusk, and then the kids start hunting. This is such a fun and easy game to play as a family in the backyard.
If the weather outside is frightful, playing inside is still delightful! This game can easily be modified to play indoors. If you have a single-story house, pick a designated room, turn off all the lights, and hunt away! If you have a two story house, or have a basement to use, then you could turn it into a scavenger hunt inside, with a flashlight and clues to find all of the glow-in-the-dark ornaments.
Want to modify this game for daytime? Instead of lights, insert jingle bells into the ornaments, for a musical variation.
Add Spirited Competition for More Fun
If you have multiple kids and they are competitive like my crazy crew, your kids will love hunting with a reindeer theme!
When playing this variation, we trim our hunt down to 9 balls and pretend they are Santa’s reindeer, guiding Santa’s sleigh at night. We use 8 white lights for the ornaments, and the final one is of course red, for Rudolph!
The white ornaments are marked with each of Santa’s reindeer names, and are worth points based on their rank in the Christmas song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Dasher is worth one point, since he is the first in the song, and the point values go all the way up to 8 for Blitzen since he is the closest to Rudolph. The “Red-Nosed” ornament in the hunt however, is worth 10 points!
The kids totally love it, and I get my cool mom points in for the day, which is a double win.
Don’t Forget the Cocoa
After crafting and playing together as a family, it is the perfect time to warm up with a nice cup of cocoa, grab a treat, and pick out your favorite Christmas movie to watch together as a family. The best part about this game, is it can be used again and again, for years to come.
This holiday season is different than most years, as we continue to work through the effects of the Pandemic, but it does not need to be less memorable or special for you and your family.
Are you looking for more ways to play? Check out are 100+ Best Indoor Activities for Kids article, for even more fun ideas to keep the kids busy and entertained at home. We want to see all of the fun you are having, so don’t forget to use the hashtag #PLAYindy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so we can join in your adventures this Christmas season, and beyond!