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Cheap and Easy Crafts for Kids: 9 Recycled Crafts

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Glowing Firefly Recycled Bottle Craft

By: Jillian Kousins for
Glowing Firefly Recycled Bottle Craft
Glowing Firefly Recycled Bottle Craft

Recycled crafts for kids are the best because you already have most, if not all, of the materials you need in your home. If the kids say they're bored, get out the craft supplies and make this cute and easy Glowing Firefly Recycled Bottle Craft. The kids love glow in the dark crafts, so make a bunch of these little fireflies and turn the living room into a peaceful summer field at twilight. The glow of this plastic bottle craft is perfect for lighting up a fort or for taking down a dark hallway to the bathroom. You can keep this recycled craft idea for a long time, just be sure to change out the glow stick eventually to keep it bright.
Do you know how and why fireflies glow?
While you're making the Glowing Firefly Recycled Bottle Craft, you can tell your children about real fireflies and why they glow. Plastic bottle crafts are so fun to make with your kids and they'll love learning about fireflies. The best part of summer is taking a walk as the sun goes down, the temperature cools, and the fireflies come out. They're like nature's Christmas lights that make something beautiful just for you. But why do fireflies glow? It's one of science's biggest mysteries, but we've found some answers.
One of the reasons that fireflies glow is to communicate with each other. Males and females of the same species will flash signals back and forth to attract each other as mates. When a female recognizes a flash of a male of her own species, she will respond with her own flash. 
Fireflies also glow to avoid predators. They're filled with a nasty tasting chemical calling "lucibufagins." After a predator gets a mouthful of firefly and lucibufagins, they quickly learn to associate a firefly's glow with a bad taste. However, some frogs don't seem to mind and they eat so many fireflies that they themselves begin to glow. One species of firefly doesn't make lucibufagins naturally so they acquire it by eating others that can. They lure their victims by mimicking the flashing patterns of another species.
Now we know why they glow, but let's find out how they glow. Fireflies produce a chemical reaction inside their bodies that allows them to glow, which is called bioluminescence. Put simply, when oxygen combines with a chemical called "luciferin," light is produced. It's not a warm heat light a light bulb or a fire, but a cold light which doesn't lose energy as heat.
So, if you try to keep fireflies in a jar and you don't put air holes in the top, their lights will go out because they won't have enough oxygen. It's best to leave them in the wild where they're meant to be. But, don't worry. You can always make your own out of a recycled plastic bottle and a glow stick!

Estimated CostUnder $10

Time to CompleteUnder an hour

MaterialsRecycled Materials

Primary TechniqueGreen Crafting


Age GroupPreschool & Kindergarten, Elementary School


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What a cute glowing bottle firefly and a great way to teach your kids about recycling. Most things you have around the hous like a empty soda bottle,pipe cleaners and construction paper and of corse tape. These little guys will look great around some indoor plants and when you put a glow stick in the bottle it makes it glow. A video to show you how it is done. Super easy.


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