Summer nights are a great time for fun! Bedtimes might get pushed back, the heat cools off and there are fantastic evening sights and sounds. Make the most of it with these flashlight activities.
Just a couple things before you get started:
Grab your flashlight. Test it before heading outdoors. Change the battery or charge it if it is dim. Because a lot of these games include pointing the light at others, don’t use the brightest light, and don’t aim the light at people’s eyes.
Pick a dark spot. Most of the fun is just being out at night, but because you will be playing with flashlights, the darker the better. Ask your parents to turn off yard lights.
Ask permission. Make sure a responsible adult knows where you are going.
Safety first. Pick a spot that is safe to be and that you are allowed to be. (Unfortunately, the forest preserves are closed after sunset.) Because you have lower visibility, consider wearing shoes. Whistles are good to have to get attention and call for help.
Check in. Go with a couple of people, and in between games make sure everyone is still part of the group.
Going for a hike in the day is great fun. Now go for a walk at night. How is the space different from during the day?
This is an oldie but a goody. One person is “it.” They cover their eyes and count to 10 (or 30 or 100 or whatever number you all agree on). Everyone else runs and hides. The person who is it uses the flashlight to search for the other players. When the flashlight beam hits another player, they are now it!
Change up the game with these ideas:
Maybe the person who is it has to find everyone and then the first — or last — person found is now it.
Pick a spot that is the “jail.” Whenever anyone gets tagged, they go to jail. Untagged players can slap their hand to break them out of jail.
Make it a team game. This works best with a lot of players. Split the group in half and have each team pick a jail. Give Team A some time to hide while Team B covers their eyes and counts. Then all of Team B will search for Team A. When tagged, they go to jail. Then switch!
Play flashlight freeze tag. When the person who is it tags you, you freeze until another player taps you. Beware, the person who is it might catch you both in the act!
Remember, you can set a timer so the same person is not it for too long.
Use the flashlight and your fingers to project animals — or whatever you want — onto the side of a building or another flat surface.
Flashlight eye spy
Have one person look around with their flashlight while everyone else covers their eyes. They say, “I spy with my little eye something ____.” It can be a color or a shape or something that is very old. Just use your imagination. Then the rest of the group can look around with their flashlights and guess. The first person to guess correctly takes their turn.
Instead of doing the limbo under a stick, use the beam of a flashlight. How low can you go?
Ghost in the graveyard
Pick a home base large enough to fit everyone, like a large tree or a porch.
Pick a “ghost.” The ghost goes and hides.
Meanwhile everyone else stands at homebase and counts loudly together: “1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock . . .” all the way up to “MIDNIGHT!”
Start looking for the ghost. You can use your flashlights. Or not, it’s up to you. Just make sure everyone agrees ahead of time.
When someone spots the ghost, yell, “Ghost in the graveyard!” and everyone runs back to home base.
If the ghost catches anyone, they are now also a ghost.
Keep playing until everyone is a ghost.
Capture the firefly
Designate one or more kids as fireflies. The fireflies have a flashlight and flash it a couple of times every 30 seconds or so. Everyone else tries to find and catch the fireflies.
Draw something in the air with your flashlight and see if your friends can figure out what you are drawing. Keep it simple!
Moths to a flame
Is your flashlight or lantern attracting any insects or other critters? Don’t waste the opportunity! Check them out while they enjoy the light.
Try all these games and activities and have lots of fun. But this is just the beginning. What flashlight activities can you come up with to explore the last of the summer nights?
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