Make a glowing jellyfish craft! Learn about the life cycle of a jellyfish, the cool science behind bioluminescence, and more! This fun and easy ocean theme activity will surely be a hit with your kids. Explore bio-luminescence in living organisms while combining art and a bit of engineering for an easy ocean STEAM project!

Ocean jellyfish craft for kids that glows in the dark to explore bioluminescence.Pin

Explore Jellyfish For Ocean Theme

Add this simple glow-in-the-dark jellyfish activity to your Ocean theme lesson plans year. If you want to learn a little bit about how bio-luminescence works and marine life that glow, read on. While you’re at it, make sure to check out these other fun ocean activities

Our art and craft activities for kids are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind! Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun! Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!

In the ocean, jellyfish can be clear and vibrant colors, and many glow or are bioluminescent! This jellyfish craft below creates a fun glowing jellyfish you will see in the dark.

You might think this is a fun ocean craft activity using a few easily available supplies. You are correct, and the kids will have a blast, but…

You can also add some simple facts about bioluminescence, a feature of some jellies like the comb jellyfish!

Glowing Jellyfish Craft

This ocean craft is a perfect addition to your ocean theme classroom decor. Of course, it can get a little messy with paint. Make sure surfaces are covered, and sleeves are rolled up! These will look fantastic hanging in the window at night too!

You might also like: Black Glue Jellyfish Art


  • Paper bowls
  • Neon green, yellow, pink, and orange yarn
  • Neon paint
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
supplies for glowing jellyfish craftPin


STEP 1: Layout scrap paper to protect your surface while painting. Place your paper bowls open side down, paint each one a different neon color, and let dry. 

paint bowls with neon paintPin

STEP 2: Poke a hole in the center of each bowl and cut 4 slits in the hole.

STEP 3: Pull from the side of the yarn (this way the yarn will be wavy) and measure 5 pieces of each color yarn measuring 18” each.


STEP 4: Lay each piece of yarn together, gather at the center and tie the top off.

STEP 5: Place the tied off piece of yarn through the bottom of the bowl and let the loose yarn dangle.

attach the string to the bowlPin

STEP 6: Paint your strands of yarn with more neon paint, let dry. Shut off the lights and watch your jellyfish glow.


What Is Bioluminescence?

Your explanation doesn’t have to be too involved or complicated, but it is the reason why there are glowing jellyfish and why you paint the bowls with glow-in-the-dark paint!

Bioluminescence is where light is produced from a chemical reaction occurring within a living organism, like the jellyfish.

Bioluminescence is also a type of chemiluminescence (which can be seen in these glow sticks). Other bioluminescent organisms in the ocean include fish, sharks, sea stars, and even bacteria.

Bioluminescence in jellyfish is used for self-defense, as well as to attract and lure their prey, and camouflage to confuse their predators. In water, when touched by predators they suddenly start to glow causing the predator to hopefully fear them and let them move away. 

More Fun Facts About Jellyfish

Jellyfish live in the ocean and you will find them either floating with the currents or waves or swimming freely at the depths of the ocean where there is no sunlight.

Jellyfish are not fish at all! Instead they are invertebrates made of a smooth, bag-like body and have tentacles with tiny stinging cells to catch prey.

What do jellyfish eat?

Jellyfish eat fish, shrimp, crabs, tiny plants and even other types of jellyfish. Their mouth is found in the center of their body. It is through that tiny opening they take in food, and discard wastes.

How long do jellyfish live?

Jellyfish live for up to a year in the wild if they are not eaten first. Turtles, and some fish like to eat jellyfish. But their main predator is actually other jellyfish!

FREE Printable Jellyfish Worksheets

Add this free printable jellyfish pack shown below that includes parts of a jellyfish worksheet and the jellyfish life cycle.

More Ocean Animals To Learn About

If your kids love ocean animals, then why not try more of these fun and easy ocean animal activities, including starfish, narwhals, squid, and sharks? Perfect to add to any ocean theme lesson plan or fun at home.

Printable Ocean Activities Pack

If you want to have all of your printable ocean activities in one convenient place, plus exclusive worksheets with an ocean theme, our 100+ page Ocean STEM Project Pack is what you need!

Check out The Complete Ocean Science and STEM Pack in our SHOP!


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