During those long nights, you need a fun game for the family to enjoy—most importantly, the kids. If you’re getting tired of regular board games, we’ve got you covered with some fun activities to get the whole family engaged.
The best part is, for most of these games, all you need are flashlights and a good imagination. We’ll explain each game in detail so that you’ll know any other equipment you’ll need. So, If you’re ready to head out for some nighttime fun, let’s go.
- Flashlight games are fun for young children as well as adults.
- Many games can help to further develop different skills in children, such as observation and concentration.
- You can quickly turn a regular game, such as tag, into a fun flashlight game.
22 Fun Flashlight Games for the Whole Family
Capture the Firefly
Capture the firefly is an excellent game for youngsters and toddlers at sleepovers or even birthday parties. For this game, you need giant fireflies, who are better than your kids? Each firefly child receives a flashlight that they flash every 30 seconds. The other children, who aren’t fireflies, tries to catch them.
You can use any flashlight; however, we prefer smaller pin-style flashlights because they’re easier to hold in little hands. Instruct the fireflies not to flash directly into the eyes of other children.
If you avoid using very bright flashlights, it will prevent any chance of the kids temporarily blinding each other.
This game is excellent to get children up and moving; it’s also a good learning opportunity as the children have to count to 30 to allow the fireflies a head-start.
Have you ever seen those amazing lighting pictures on social media, thinking they were fake? However, with the help of the right equipment, you can take some incredible photos in the dark.
All you need is a camera that’s capable of taking long shutter pictures and a few flashlights. Set the camera to a long shot, such as 20 seconds, place it on a tripod, or any steady table or stand. Use the timer on the camera or employ a friend to hit the shutter, then begin to shine your flashlights towards the camera—draw a design that you like.
You can try to do a smiley face, circle, zigzag or try more complicated shapes such as stars and hearts. It might take a few tries to get it right, but you’re sure to have fun.
It’s an excellent night time activity for tweens, teens and adults as well.
If you have youngsters in your family who are beginning to learn their ABCs, this game will be a winner. All you need is one or more flashlights as well as small foam letters.
Make a comfy seating area in front of an empty wall. As you flash the wall with the light, a shadow of the letter will appear. For smaller children, let them take turns to say the letter—with kindergarten-aged children, you can try to spell out three-letter words and have them read it out.
For even more fun, you can turn it into a game where every child gets a point for each correct letter or word.
Read our Ultimate Guide to Flashlights to learn what to look for when finding the best flashlight for your needs
Flashlight Dance Party
Dancing is one of the all-time best energy-burners, excellent if you have a group of kids sleeping over. All you need for this game is some child-friendly disco music and flashlights. Turn up the tunes and watch as the kids create their own disco lights.
To make it even more fun, you can place colored paper or gel over the flashlights to create even more of a disco vibe. This game can be fun for children of all ages; parents and adults might also jump in on the disco.
DIY Starry Night
If you live in a big city, you know the struggle of trying to catch a glimpse of the stars. However, with this next game, you can bring the starry night inside.
What you need for this game is a flashlight, black paper, a pencil and some tape. Cut the black paper to suit the flashlight’s size—use the pencil to poke holes in the paper. Tape the paper onto the flashlight and watch your ceiling turn into the milky way.
If you want to get a little more advanced, you can use paper shape cutters to create actual stars. You can also experiment with other shapes, such as butterflies or flowers.
Here’s a fun guide on creating a DIY Star Display Flashlight
Spotlight minute is a super fun game for tweens, teens and adults alike. Gather your group and make everyone form a circle in the dark. Appoint one person to stand in the middle. They will be the pointer holding a flashlight.
The “pointer” will flash the light at one person at a time, giving them a minute in the spotlight. The person in the spotlight can do whatever they like—sing a song, do a jig, tell a funny joke.
This game is an excellent introduction to an evening of fun. It’s a light-hearted way to break-the-ice and gets everyone comfortable.
For adults, you can try to make up a fun story. The first person in the spotlight will start the story. After a minute, the spotlight will be on another person who has to continue, and so on. You might end up with a crazy story that doesn’t make any sense, but it’s a great way to improvise. If a minute works out too long, make it 30 seconds.
To play this flashlight game, all you need is a flashlight, black paper and a small pin. Each person gets a piece of paper and a pin.
Use the pin to write a pinhole message. You can choose something funny, weird or even naughty to write.
Take turns placing your piece of paper over the flashlight. The next person in line has to write a reply to your message and then flash it up using the flashlight. You can expect to see some funny responses.
This game is similar to Letter Spotlight, but it’s more suited for teens and adults. As you’re writing your message, space the letters or symbols out so they won’t overlap.
Read our Ultimate Guide to Flashlight Tint to learn all about how important Flashlight Color Tints are.
For this game, you’ll need a large space, preferably a gym or field. Appoint one person to stand above everyone else—maybe on a chair or stairs if you’re in a gym. This person will hold a good focusing LED flashlight and use it to form a circle on the floor or ground.
As the person forms the circle, everyone else has to hurry inside. Now, it can’t fit every person; therefore, anyone who doesn’t gets eliminated from the game. You can reduce or enlarge the circle by shining the flashlight closer or further away. Keep going until only one person remains; the winner of the Flashlight Shuffle.
One of the ultimate flashlight games is tag; played since the dawn of days, and we continue to enjoy it.
If you’re doing this indoors, clear the room of any heavy or breakable objects. Choose one person to be “it” and appoint them with a flashlight.
The other participants will hide or run around, trying to avoid the kid with the flashlight. The child with the flashlight will use it to try and spot their friends.
This game is ideal if you’re outdoors on a field trip or camping. A larger area makes the chase more exciting.
For this game, you need a good flashlight and some groovy tunes. Appoint one person to be “it” while the rest of the group gear up to dance.
Turn those tunes up and get everyone out on the dance floor. The “it” person will randomly flash the flashlight, and when they hit someone with the light, the person has to freeze. If you freeze immediately, you’re good, but if you keep busting moves, you’re the next “it.”
This game is fun for the whole family, including grandma. It’s an excellent way to kill time before New Year’s countdown to keep the mood high. It’s also a super fun birthday activity for youngsters of all ages.
Charades is a fun game for the whole family, so why not give shadow charades a go? You can change this game up a little to suit children or adults.
If children are playing, an adult will hold the flashlight and light up a wall. The children will take turns acting out (or shadowing) what the parent tells them.
The rest of the group then has to guess what object, letter, number or shape the shadow is. The child who guesses correctly will be next.
For teens or adults, you can make the game more complicated by appointing teams. You can even prepare the game ahead and create flashcards of what they have to act out.
Use different actions, animals or other more complicated shadows. Don’t go overboard, though, and try to shadow “Old Town Road.”
Catch the Light
Children love to watch as the light from the flashlight darts around the room, so why not catch it? Move the light around the room; this includes walls, floors and ceilings. Stop the light randomly, and let the kids catch the light.
If it’s on the floor, they’ll have to stomp on it—if it’s on a wall, they have to stretch their arms to reach it or jump if it’s on the ceiling.
This game is excellent for toddlers and preschoolers. It’s also a great way to get them moving and improve their concentration as they have to keep an eye on the light.
Who doesn’t love a round of limbo? Crank up the Calypso tunes and see who can go the lowest.
But, in Flashlight limbo, we’re not using a pole; we’re using a beam of light. Appoint one person to hold the flashlight in a straight, horizontal line. Make everyone in the room form a line and start the music.
Once everyone is past the first round, lower the flashlight, similar to a limbo pole. If anyone breaks the beam of light as they pass underneath, they’re out.
This game is fun for the whole family. It can also be a fun activity at a party or a co-worker get-together.
Our Lumens, Lux, and Candela article is a great resource to learn more about Lumens and light output
This game is similar to Flashlight limbo; however, it’s a bit more complicated. Imagine you’re a secret spy on a mission when you encounter a web of lasers you have to get through—can you?
Set up multiple small LED flashlights in different directions but facing each other—some point horizontal others diagonally. You might need a few people to hold the flashlights if you don’t have a way to secure them.
Form a line of secret spies and take turns making your way through the “lasers.” If anyone breaks a laser, they’re busted.
Tweens and teens will love this game as they have to move in different ways to avoid the “lasers.”
Flashlight Scavenger Hunt
A flashlight scavenger hunt is a marvelous game for children of all ages. You can alter the game to suit the age of the children.
If you’re dealing with a large group of kids, make teams and appoint a leader for each team. The leader will receive a flashlight that the team uses to find clues.
Before the game begins, you must hide treasures and clues all around the house or even the garden. As night falls, let the games begin.
Give each team their first clue and let them run around to find the next using the flashlight. Each clue will get the children closer to the treasure.
With younger children, it’s essential to keep the clues short and precise.
For bigger children, you could add short activities or actions they have to do before getting a clue. It could be to tell a funny joke or sing the chorus to a popular song.
If you want to adapt this for adults, choose a local beauty spot or park to hide items and give the players some cryptic clues to their location.
The Life is Sweeter blog has a great Flashlight Scavenger Hunt guide – check it out!
Take a toy or stuffed animal and hide it somewhere within a room or the house. Be creative as to where you hide it; you don’t want it found too quickly.
Give each child a small flashlight and turn the house lights off. Let your tiny detectives get to work as they search for the missing object.
We must warn you; children love this game—you’re sure to be playing this more than once.
To make the game more interesting, you can hide a special treat instead of a toy. The child who finds it gets to enjoy it.
For youngsters who are learning different shapes, letters or numbers, you can try this game. Have your child or children sit down in front of a plain wall. One by one, they get to trace out the number, shape or letter you call out.
Watch as the child uses the beam of light as a pencil to trace.
This is an excellent learning tool for young children, as they get to have fun while learning.
Click here to see the Best Headlamps reviewed!
If your children enjoy an Easter egg hunt, they’re sure to like this game as well. Before getting started, you need multiple reflectors—you can buy a bundle of these on Amazon or at your local hardware store.
Glue them to different index cards and punch a hole through the top of the paper. Take some string and pull it through the hole so that you can hang the reflectors outside. Spread the reflectors throughout the garden—don’t make it too easy, think like the Easter bunny.
When night falls, it’s time for the reflector hunt. Each child gets a small flashlight and a basket that they use to find and collect the reflectors. The child with the most reflectors wins a special prize—could be a favorite treat.
If you have multiple children but limited flashlights, make teams and give each team a flashlight.
Shadow Puppet Show
When there’s a power outage or the children are simply getting bored, why not create a shadow puppet show? For this, you need to build a basic stage by cutting out the bottom of a cardboard box. Replace the bottom with two sheets of tissue or tracing paper—tape it into place.
For the puppets, you can tape foam stickers onto toothpicks. You can buy these at any craft store or Amazon; they come in different themes, so there’s a wide choice.
If you’re a crafty person, on the other hand, you can easily make your own shadow puppets. You can use foam or paper to cut out characters and tape them onto toothpicks or wooden barbeque skewers.
Place a piece of styrofoam inside the puppet theatre where your child can position the puppets. Use a flashlight to create an amazing show.
Silhouette drawing is a fun sleepover activity for school-aged children. Give the group a good LED flashlight and clear a wall for the silhouette.
Give each child a small block of paper or a notebook and a pencil. Taking turns, one child will stand up in front of the light, and the rest will draw the shadow silhouette.
The children can have a lot of fun with this game by posing in different ways.
For this game, you need to set up a scene in a room. Use different removable objects or toys and place them in various areas.
Each child will get a flashlight to search the room after you turn the lights off. In the first round, the children get to explore the room, trying to memorize every little object. When time is up, the children leave the room while you remove an object.
Turn the lights off again and allow the children to search for the missing object.
You can play this game one-on-one, appoint teams or make it a group activity where they have to work together.
Morse Code Cracking
Morse code is an important way of communication, so why not teach your children? For this game to be the most fun, it’s ideal if you have access to a garden. Also, to help the kids, you can print a morse code chart.
Find a fun prize that the children play for, and hide it somewhere in or around the house.
Seat the children inside the house near a large window—hand out notebooks and pencils so they can take notes.
A parent will be hiding in the garden with a flashlight facing the window. When the game begins, the parent will flash the light to send a code—which is a clue to the location of the prize.
As the children crack the code, they can run out to find the prize. Whoever finds it first gets to keep it.
Why Flashlight Games Are Good for Children
Young children learn a lot through play, so it’s essential to allow them to explore. By using a flashlight, you’re introducing a new fun way of exploring regular objects around the house.
Many of the games we chose to share can help develop different skills in your children. A game such as “Something’s Different,” forces the children to explore their surroundings and pay close attention to small details.
We also love flashlight games because it’s a great way to make children work together. When playing “Flashlight Scavenger Hunt,” the children must work together to solve clues to find the treasure. Furthermore, games such as “Spotlight Minute” are good ways to get shy children out of their shells.
Children Who Are Afraid of the Dark
It’s common for children to be afraid of the dark—they might request a nightlight when sleeping or sneak into your bed.
As a parent, it can be tricky to deal with. However, you must listen to your child when they express their fear.
If your child is afraid of the dark, you can use fun flashlight games to help them slowly overcome their fear. You can create a starry night in their room during bedtime to get their mind in a peaceful state.
Flashlight games are a fantastic way to get children moving and learning at the same time. There are many ways to have fun with the entire family, both outdoors and indoors. Many of the games we shared are adaptable to suit smaller children, teens and even adults.
Apart from being fun activities, flashlight games are also excellent learning opportunities for children of all ages. So what are you waiting for? Grab those flashlights and get the games started.