Why are boys (and men too!) so intrigued with flashlights? I mean, I get that they are a useful tool to have around ... a must in case of a power outage, and handy when I'm looking for something under the bed ... but for whatever reason, the men in my family are IN LOVE with their flashlights. "Honey, what do you want for father's day?" "Oh! I saw this new flashlight ..." And this "new flashlight" is in the $100 range. =/ Oh well, there are worse things! So needless to say - there are no shortage of flashlights to keep us entertained around here. All kidding aside though, playing with flashlights can be a GREAT sensory based activity...
GO ON A HUNT: A great activity for dusk, most of our backyard BBQ's end with flashlight hunts. Hide an object and let the kids go find it. Give clues along the way that build language "it's UNDER something green ..." or let them know if they are "getting hotter or colder"
MONKEY SEE MONKEY DO: Use your flashlight to make a pattern on the wall (a circle, a zigzag, a figure 8) and have your child try to copy that pattern. The give the child a turn (I guarantee his pattern is going to be a lot more involved! This often ends in hysterics as I scramble to copy it! lol) Do this activity standing up - use big sweeping arm movements and cross midline ("draw" a line using your right arm from all the way to the left across to the right)
MORSE CODE: Work on math skills and use flashlight play to teach patterns. I focus my flashlight on an object and blink the light once - have your child repeat. Choose another object and blink twice, child repeats. Count out loud and build a pattern.
ALPHABET: Speaking of teaching skills - trace letters or words on the wall with your light. For little ones say the letter as you're "drawing" it. For older kids "write a word and have them guess what you wrote.
GOOD NIGHT FLASHLIGHT: Using a flashlight as a bedtime activity is a great idea. We lay in bed, make a tent under the blankets and use the flashlight to read story time. Usually we end by saying "goodnight" to the things in LM's room. I let him lead and very slowly and quietly we shine the light on his toys, books, furniture and say goodnight
One last thing I have to share. A precious little lullaby that my husband and his sister made up when THEY were little ones playing with flashlights. (I guess this really is a deep rooted obsession!) I just love this!
The sun is rising (shine flashlight from floor up to ceiling)
The sun is setting too (shine flashlight back down again)
The sun is everywhere! (shine in circles all around)
The sun is beautiful like you (shine light onto each other)
Beautiful like you.
Sing and Play the Sensory Way!