There are so many creative things to make and do with Spangler Science’s Color Changing UV Beads – that we’re going to focus on how they teach sun safety.
Our UV Color Changing Beads are pony beads that are treated so that they react with the sun’s UV rays. The beads are snow white when they are not in the sun, and then turn various colors in the sun’s rays.
For this reason, our UV beads are fantastic when you or your children plan to spend some time at the beach or any place that is outdoors, in reach of the sun’s rays.
Many parents or childcare providers like to give each child a little bracelet made of UV beads, or weave a bead or two into a child’s hair, or safety-pin a single bead – or two or three – to a child’s swimsuit or play clothes. When the sunscreen is applied to the child’s skin, some is also spread over the beads. When the beads begin to turn color, it’s time for more sunscreen! In this way, even very small children can help take responsibility for their own sunscreen application!
The beads will turn colors even when the day is cloudy, but the colors will be brighter in bright sunlight. Remember, our skin is in danger from UV rays even on cloudy days, and the beads can help us stay alert!
Water will not damage UV beads at all, but it will wash away the sunscreen you put on them. Be sure to reapply your sunscreen to your skin and the beads the minute you see the beads start to turn colors!
Medicine Bottle Sun Safety
Have you ever wondered why most prescription medicine is sold in those amber bottles? UV rays can’t penetrate the amber, so your medication stays fresh; UV rays can actually change the chemical content of your pills.
A good experiment is to put a few UV beads in an empty amber medicine bottle and replace the lid. Take the bottle outside; even the brightest sunlight can’t touch the beads!
But if you open the lid and let the sunshine touch the beads, they will change colors.
Sun Safety Jewelry
The high school and college students in my community are wearing their UV beads in an even more creative way – they’re crocheting a long chain, with a bead placed every ten stitches or so, tying the ends together, and winding them around their wrists. Apparently these wrist-wraps are quite popular, and with the UV beads, they’re quite useful as well!
They made one for me, and I sure thought so!
Sun Safety Crafts
We’ve created cute bead art with UV Beads. Weave colored beads into a design for any of the holidays (we chose our favorite, Halloween) and create crafty bead art to wear on costumes, backpacks, purses or shirts to decorate while keeping sun safety top of mind.