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black light bath

I have been meaning to do this for awhile for the kids. In fat the bottles of tonic water have been sitting in my pantry for months, tonight we finally got around to it.

The invitation

All you need to do this is a couple of black lights (you can get long florescent plug in ones at Walmart for $10, or around Halloween they sell them at Target and all the main chain and costume stores), 2 bottles of tonic water that contains real quinine,  some shaving cream, and neon tempera paint (I purchased the folk art brand at Michael’s). Then you just fill up the bath, dump in the tonic water and mix a little tempera paint into the shaving cream. You can also use the tempera paint to make glow in the dark play-dough so it’s worth the $2 a bottle. Note that not all things marked “neon” or “florescent” or even “glow in the dark” will fluoresce under black lights. The Martha Stewart glow in the dark florescent tempera paint does and so does some of the folk art paint.



“can I paint my tummy mommy?”



someone couldn’t help herself tasting the paint. Mostly it’s shaving cream so it taste like soap so she would immediately spit it out and then rinse her mouth with bath water. But the tonic water is very biter so that wasn’t much of an improvement. I kept saying “no mouth! no mouth” but I think the impulse is too strong.



 the shaving cream mixed into the tonic water made a really interesting effect! 


he said he was painting a robot.

it turned into finger painting.

of course after you have a black bath you have to have a shower to get all the shaving cream and sticky (it’s sweetened) tonic water off you but the kids had a last so it was worth the effort 🙂

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  1. Sandy

    We just tried this on Saturday. The kids had a blast, but we couldn’t get any good pictures. Do you have any tips for the next time?

  2. anita

    holy cow AMAZING photos!! and this looks awesome, can’t wait to try it with my kids!!!

  3. Stanton Kernes

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.

  4. Where did you get the bath toy along the bath wall? I absolutely LOVE it!!

    • admin

      I got it on amazon it’s called “Reeve and Jones Water Works” – the suction cups are not that great though so you have to have tile for it to work or put it on a piece of plexiglass as I have done (I used command strips to stick it to the wall) I have toyed with the idea of replacing the suction cups.

    • admin

      Amazon, it’s called Reeve and Jones Water Works – the suction cups are not that great though.

  5. esther

    How do you get these pictures to come out?

    • admin

      well I am a professional photographer and i have a $3000 camera that can shoot very will at high ISOs