Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the kids have to stop having fun. Pull out some flashlights and keep the party going with some flashlight games and activities. Stock up on batteries, because you're going to find that flashlights are not only for emergencies -- kids can get creative and use them in all sorts of entertaining ways.
1. Stargazing Cards
You can turn a flashlight into a lesson on the stars. Use a pencil to draw a star constellation on a piece of black construction paper and punch holes where the stars should be with a hole punch. Turn the lights off, hold the paper up and shine a flashlight behind the paper. The light should only shine through the holes and cast light on the wall so your child can see what the star constellation looks like. If it’s a clear night, go outside and try to find that constellation in the sky. Create as many paper constellations as you and your child want to find.
2. Shadow Puppets
The entertainment value of shadow puppets never goes out of style. Lay a flashlight on its side on a table so the light shines on the wall. Show your child how to use her hands in different positions to make animal or people shapes on the wall. Once she gets the hang of it, you can turn it into an interactive puppet show. If she struggles with using her hands, you can always cut animal and people shapes out of note cards, attach popsicle sticks with tape and use them to cast shadows on the wall.
3. Flashlight Tag
Whether your child is in the house, at a park or running around on the lawn after dark, flashlight tag offers an entertaining physical activity that amuses children of all ages. One person holds the flashlight and is “It” and the other kids hide around the play area. The “It” person has to search around to find the others. Once the person finds the hiding kids, she flashes them with her flashlight and they are out. The last person to be found is the new “It” person and a new game starts.
Storytelling with flashlights inside a fort made of sheets, blankets, pillows and chairs is an unforgettable nighttime activity. Each person participating in this activity gets to take a turn holding the flashlight and telling a story. The flashlight can be held under the chin, on the fort walls or moved around to point at different objects of interest. If there are young children, keep the storytelling entertaining, pleasant and not scary.
5. Flashlight Obstacle Course
Setting up an obstacle course in the house can keep those kiddos busy for hours. Create an obstacle course with blankets, pillows, chairs and cardboard boxes. Place painter’s tape on the floor to indicate where the children need to go next. Hand each child a flashlight, turn off the lights and tell them to navigate their way through the course. Jump out and surprise them at the end for a big finish.