Flashlight Games for Kids

Keep the fun going after the sun goes down with flashlight games.

Flashlight games are full of kid appeal! Most children, even tweens and teens, have a fascination with flashlights, and why not? It's pretty to cool to shoot a beam of light out into the dark. Add a few rules and goals and presto: you have these flashlight games, perfect for after-dinner activity, sleepover parties, and camping.

Stealthy Scavenger Hunt

Flashlight games - treasure hunt
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Make a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt a little more challenging by keeping hunters in the dark! Send them out with a list of items to find (be sure to define boundaries so they don't stray too far away), or set up a trail of clues for them to follow—by flashlight.

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Flashlight Tag

The classic! Mix hide and seek, tag, and the cover of darkness and you get this crowd-pleasing night game. And you can always tweak the rules to make your very own version.

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Another family favorite, this game is a kind of reverse tag in which all the players are trying to capture one "it"—the firefly, who holds the flashlight. Another version is to give the firefly a colored light (buy it this way, or make it with cellophane) and all other players white lights.

If you live in a place with real fireflies, you can add this game to a firefly catching adventure. Just be sure to release the bugs once you've had a good look at them!

Flashlight Stomp

Play this flashlight game indoors or out: Have one person hold the light and shine it on the ground, or an object that is safely within reach (that is, not a high ceiling fan, or a mailbox across the street). Other players race to step on the beam of light or tag it with their hands.

Flashlight Limbo

Here's another flashlight game that works indoors or out. Shine a light horizontally and presto, you have a limbo stick that's easy to hold and won't hurt if it touches the limbo dancer. This works best if you have a flashlight with a smaller, more focused beam instead of a diffused one.

Super-Size Silhouettes

Shine a flashlight (or several) onto a blank wall and let kids have fun making shadows. They can dance and watch their shadows flicker along with them, or try their hand at shadow puppets. Or put up some extra-large paper on the wall. Have kids strike a pose (the crazier, the better) and then take turns tracing each other's images.

Capture the Moon

Equip everyone with flashlights or headlamps for this one, or play in a partly lit area. The rules are the same as Capture the Flag, but using a soccer or kickball—the "moon"—instead of a flag. You could also use a glow-in-the-dark ball, or tape glow sticks around a ball or Frisbee to make it look like a shiny full moon.

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Statue Spotlight

In this improvisational, role-playing game, participants play one of three parts: statue, museum visitor, and docent (another name for museum tour guide). Start by choosing who'll be the visitor and docent first. Have them turn their backs while everyone else (the statues) strikes a pose—a statuesque one, of course!

Now, the docent takes the visitor on a tour, using a flashlight to illuminate the statues one at a time. The statues can't move, speak, or laugh (after all, they are made of stone!). The docent's goal is to catch them moving—or make them chuckle and break character by saying or doing something funny. Once a statue is "caught," that player becomes a visitor and joins the tour. Play a few rounds so that several people get a chance to be the docent.

Flicker Relay

This is a simple relay race game that's easy for players to pick up. Group players into teams and have them line up, single file. Give the first person in each line a flashlight, and pick a target destination a short distance away—a wall, fence, tree, etc. At "Go!" the first player must turn on the flashlight, shine it at the target, run to the target and touch it, then run to the back of his line, switching off the flashlight and handing it to the next person in line as he passes. Repeat for each player in the line.

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Target in the Mirror

This one comes from the homeschooling blog No Doubt Learning and cleverly adds a little science to a fun flashlight game. Kids try to hit targets with their flashlight beam, but there's a catch: They have to bounce the beam off a mirror first!

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