Bioluminescence – Science Related Artwork

Guest Post by JDaniel4’s Mom

My son has recently discovered the juvenile non-fiction section at the library. He has been drawn weekly to books in that section on animals life. Books on sea animals in particular have ended up in our library bag. One of the books on sea life that caught both of our attention was one called The Winking, Blinking Sea- All About Bioluminescence. It pictures are amazingly filled with glowing undersea creatures of various kinds.


After read about animals that glowed, I thought it would be fun to create some glowing creatures using everyday materials we had at home.
Neon Colored Play Dough Creatures
We started by creating homemade play dough with a simple recipe calling for 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 2 Tablespoon each of cream of tater and vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 cups of boiling water.


To the play dough mixture we added drops of neon colored food coloring. My son created a lovely blue and green dough and I created a purple dough. Neither dough really glowed, but it did created really pretty sea creatures when we pushed sea life cooking cutters into it.


Both the crab and sea worms my son made looked like they might stand out in the dark under sea world bioluminescent animals live in.

Flurescent Sea Life Coloring


Later on I pulled out some fish shapes to color with highlighters for my son to color. He did a beautiful job coloring the fish bright pink, orange and yellow. Special care was given to emphasize the eye sockets of some of the fish and the tails of others.

My son noted that the fish in the book glowed on the outside edge of their bodies. He took a lot of time making sure the fish looked right by going back to look at pictures in the book.



It was while looking back that my son noticed that most of the animals in the book weren’t traditionally shaped fish or were even fish at all. He decided that I need to to cut out a long dragonfish  and deep-sea worm for him to color.

I think the real sea creatures would enjoy my son’s pictures. He tried to give each of them as many as their attributes as he could.

Glowing Fish Mobile

Early in the summer I created a fish mobile for my son’s room using old water bottles. We decided  go up to his room to add glow sticks to his mobile as our final bioluminescent art project.

When he headed to bed, he had bioluminscent fish swimming around it his room. It was an exciting way to celebrate all the fun we had learning about and creating glowing sea life.


JDaniel4’s Mom blogs about raising her four year old son, the adventures they have, the special meals they create, the crafts they make, and the learning they do. You can find her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


  1. I’ve been homeschooling a long time and lots a bit of my creative edge. After reading this todat I think craft is on the agenda. I love this!

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