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Enjoy darker nights with glow in the dark art

The nights are really drawing in now and it won't be long before the skies are dark by tea time. It's easy to think of this time of year in quite a gloomy way as the amount of daylight slowly dissipates, but we'd encourage you to embrace the cosiness generated by shutting the curtains in late autumn and winter.

One of the most fun ways of doing so with your children is to make an activity out of the reduced light by having fun with glow in the dark art. Kids love this and it's an ideal opportunity to get crafty and eliminate any residual fears about 'monsters' in dark bedrooms.

Pre-bought decals

If you're pushed for time, there are lots of shops both online and on the high street that seek pre-cut, self-adhesive decals that can be stuck on bedroom walls to glow when the lights are switched off.

You and your little ones can enjoy getting them out and coming up with fun ways to adhere them in order to make cute pictures or motifs.

Make your own

However, if you do have a spare afternoon or two, we'd strongly recommend rolling up your sleeves and creating your own glow in the dark artwork, as youngsters will be really proud of it and the creation process keeps them occupied.

The most useful tool you can get hold of for this activity is glow in the dark paint, which is available from most hardware or art shops and can be used on walls, paper or card.

A great project is a canvas that can be hung on the wall. First, paint the entire canvas in your glow in the dark pain, then attach stickers such as stars, planets and other celestial bodies. Paint over the entire thing in black paint, leaving the stickers in place for now. Once the paint is dry, peel off the stickers and the shapes underneath will glow in the dark.

Painting directly on the walls is an option if you've got a steady hand and aren't too precious about the bedroom decor - again, you could stick to dots to create a starry night sky or animal outlines such as sheep.

For a really simple idea, emulate the star stickers that were really popular a few years ago for headboards or ceilings. It's easy to make your own using a template, stiff card, glow in the dark paint and sticky pads to adhere them.

You could even take this opportunity to learn more about the constellations with older children, affixing the stars in the shape of The Plough or Orion's Belt - get them even more enthused about this with the night sky projections from our Glow Pets.

Don't forget

It's really fun to do this kind of project and both kids and parents can really go to town in creating something fun and unique.

However, remember that if the resulting art is going to be on display in the bedroom permanently, it shouldn't be too busy or you could find little ones have trouble getting to sleep.

It's amazing how much luminescence some paints can give off, so remember you're aiming for a comforting glow as opposed to dazzling Psychedelia.

Another good point is ensuring the finished product is soothing to the very young and even older kids. We took a look around on the internet for glow in the dark bedrooms and while many were undoubtedly so clever they should probably be on display in art galleries, some were also quite sinister.

Therefore, consider if the tiny owls' eyes you were going to paint into trees or the shadows you'd planned to emulate lamplight could prove to be nightmare-inducing - and ditch them if the answer is yes.

Shapes can look creepy enough in the dark without adding even more monsters for them to worry about!

Having fun with darkness and light should help you to make this time of year more fun and eliminate boredom that could crop up when outdoor play isn't possible.

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