Glowing Nature Crate

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There seems to be a feedback loop between our Little Explorers and Koala Crate subscriptions these days! Having recently learned all about glowworms through the former, our most recent crate form the latter was not just about nature but about glowing nature and touched upon… glowworms! Luckily there was very little overlap in the projects. Thanks to the booklet and crafts, we covered: glowing fungi; glowing insects; and glowing sea creatures.

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Travis loved the crafts in our kit this month. We started with the Mushroom Lantern, which featured a pitch-perfect way for preschoolers to paint; squeeze from the provided paint tube onto the mushroom’s plastic cap…

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And then dab on with the sponge brush.

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Travis loved the method so much that some additional squeezing and dabbing on newspaper had to happen.

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We left the mushroom cap to dry, after which it fell to me to finish the craft. Attach the cap to a cardboard tube base by threading a pipe cleaner through the cap and a foam circle (this is your lantern’s handle), and then pushing the foam circle into the tube to secure. Glow-in-the-dark stickers around the mushroom cap are the final touch, and what will make your lantern glow after charging in sunlight or other direct light.

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While our mushroom dried, Travis couldn’t wait to start on the next craft – the most adorable stuffed Glowing Firefly. The kit came with a sock in glow-in-the-dark material; try painting glow-in-the-dark fabric paint on a white sock to replicate this at home. Before we even began the craft, the sock itself and the fluffy roving were big hits.

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We’ve had stuffing projects from Koala before which Travis was a bit young to help with at the time; this time around, he inserted much of the roving himself!

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I added the provided rubber bands to seal off the end and head, and looped through the fabric wings. Travis squealed with how cute our firefly was once we attached 2 googly eyes.

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Then it was time to set it beneath a lamp (direct sunlight also works) to charge up. For some daylight fun, the firefly is also perfect for adorable games of catch.

As we waited, we dove right into the final project: a glow-in-the-dark Jellyfish Game. I was a bit disappointed in the mechanics of this one, both because it was very hard for little hands to put the craft together and because it didn’t last long once created.

Travis could definitely help thread the fabric tentacles through the cardboard jellyfish body…

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And add the eyes and glow-in-the-dark stickers…

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But from there it was up to me to thread the jellyfish through a provided cardboard frame and rig it up on the window with provided suction cups.

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To be fair, Travis went wild for the game; by tugging on the strings, children can now wiggle and wobble the jellyfish around.

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A couple vigorous tugs broke the frame, however, so the fun didn’t last long. I was disappointed Travis didn’t get a chance to see the jellyfish in motion after dark and all aglow. Luckily there were additional stickers to decorate our underwater scene, which Travis loved with and without the jellyfish around. So my best advice for enjoying this craft is to proceed gently!

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The booklet included a very cute counting poem about glowworms, which became a fast favorite of all the glowing creatures.

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We looked them up online, before acting out the glowworm activities – inching along, and curling up to sleep.

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For further glowworm fun, make a quick glowworm cave by squirting glow-in-the-dark paint into a mason jar.

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You can simply squirt in the paint, or smear it with a q-tip. Or perhaps your child will think this looks like little fireflies caught in a jar!

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As the grand finale, we set all three toys under his lamp near bedtime, then turned out the light for a glowing extravaganza!

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