I saw this idea in Family Fun Magazine, and knew that we HAD to do it!
Our invitation asked all neighborhood children to show up in their pajamas, and to bring their own jar and flashlight. Once they arrived, the kids adorned themselves in bright glow-in-the-dark bracelets, necklaces, and rings.
While we waited for dark to set in, parents helped their little ones make and decorate glow-in-the-dark lightning bugs (paint available at Michael's, about $2.99 ea).
Then, since we were delaying bedtime a bit, we gave the kids a burst of energy by way of Smores.
Finally, the little ones gathered to hear the rules of the game...'yes, your Mama can help you...of course you can give your bugs princess names...no, you can't count the lightning bugs you caught last night..'. While the kids (and parents) rounded up an impressive number of twinkling fireflies that night, the winner, a 6-year-old named Gabe, went home with a build-your-own-bug-catcher set, and a smile that barely fit on his face!
A good time was had by all, and I'm pretty sure
a tradition was started.