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Frugal Family Fun – Flashlight Games

Frugal Family Fun – Flashlight Games

Get ready for another Frugal Family Fun night – we aim to maximize your fun, while minimizing your spending. Flashlights take centre stage tonight. So gather the family, check the batteries and spend some quality time together.

You will need:

  • 2 Flashlights (or share 1)
  • A few Balloons
  • Elastic Bands
  • Finger Flashlights (pack of 4 at the dollar store)

Activities for 3-5 year-olds

Get in Shape: Use your flashlight to make shapes on a wall. Little ones guess the shapes and then take a turn making their own.

Chase the Light: Appoint 1 person to be the Flashlight Holder. They shine the light on an area of the floor or wall. Everyone else tries to “catch” the light. Whoever catches the light takes a turn as the Flashlight Holder.

Flashlight Dance: Give everyone finger flashlights. Turn on some catchy music, lie on the floor and “dance” your light to the beat.

Finger Flashlights

Experiment: Try shining a flashlight through certain materials. Try paper, tissue paper and a coloured beverage. Balloons also work well: cut the end off yellow, red and blue balloons and secure them over the end of a flashlight with an elastic band, individually or layering them to mix the colours.

Lite Brite: If you have this game, or can borrow it from a friend, it’s time to pull it out. Try creating objects or patterns as a team. For the best effect, turn the masterpiece on in the dark. Kids can also play the online version of Lite Brite.

Lite Brite

Board Book: The Game of Light, by Herve Tullet comes highly recommended. It’s a board book with cut-out shapes that is perfect for enjoying light. Our library system does not carry it, so I will probably order it from Amazon.

Game of Light

Hiding Out: Be a hero by offering to build a fort together. Bring out a pile of cushions, blankets and fort clips (clothes pins). Pile in to listen to an audio story or read a book by flashlight.

6 years and up

Shadow Charades: One person tells another person what word to make. Instead of acting it out (like real charades), the player makes a shadow puppet of the word and everyone else guesses what it is. Choose simple objects that can be made readily with shadows (i.e. a butterfly). As the kids progress, more challenging words can be tried.

Disassembly: Take apart a flashlight and hide the pieces throughout the house. Everyone else races to find and build the flashlight in record time.

Take Apart Flashlight

Shadow Puppets: Here is a chart of basic animals, and the corresponding hand shapes to make them. Try your hand at a few (pun intended) then make up some of your own.

Shadow Puppets

Flashlight Fireflies: The firefly gets a flashlight and has to hide. Every 30 seconds, when someone calls out “Firefly”, they have to shine their flashlights briefly, while everyone else tries to capture them.

When the Stars Come Out: Cut out pieces of black paper that will cover the end of your flashlight. Poke or punch holes into the paper. Use an elastic band to secure the paper, shine it on the ceiling and admire the stars.

Getting Crafty: Create various images by cutting out shapes from black paper and attaching it to the end of your flashlight. Here is a sample idea:

Flashlight Shapes

To finish off the family fun, have a peek at Attraction, a Shadow Dance Group on Britain’s Got Talent. Their performance was breathtaking!

In closing, I had to include this cheeky advertisement in case you have ever had one of those days:

40 Second Flashlight

Your family time will be full of fun, and a much greater investment than the 40 Second Flashlight!

What was your favourite flashlight memory growing up?


  1. Lisa Anne

    Love some of these ideas and they will be fun at the cottage. Lee Valley has a great shadow puppet book and it is available online at their store My daughter’s use it often and enjoy the animals and shapes they create. Fun ideas as always!!!

    • Karen

      Thanks for the shadow puppet book idea: Classic Book of Hand Shadows – it looks great. You are right – these would be perfect late-night cottage games!

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