Kids find a lot of uses for flashlights, and not all of them are parent-approved. Reading in bed under the covers and sneaking outside after bedtime are time-honored things for older children to do. Personally, I remember pulling the covers up over my head when I heard grown-up footsteps getting closer, especially if I was at an exciting point in a book or comic book. Now and then I’d sneak out with my light to play with the neighbors’ dog.
Sure, children use flashlights in the same ways as adults. They can use any kind the family has for their activities, and there are children’s ones designed for them as well. All of these make good gifts for birthdays, holidays, or for no particular event.
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What Are Flashlights for Kids Like?
They are often LED ones, rather than the older bulb types. They tend to fit smaller hands. Like many models for adults, they may have an on-and-off feature that gives a flashing effect. Some of them throw a color beam. For the very youngest, the flashlight feature is often part of a colorful toy.
For Toddlers and Preschoolers
Flashlights designed for younger children, often ones that they can’t tear apart, may combine being a flashlight with other functions. I was surprised at how many such things are available online. See the safety notes further down, too.
Older Kids’ Flashlights
Here are a few, from swords to black light. Many of them come in kits with various child-size outdoor tools. There are also batches you can get as party favors or for similar uses. Where most flashlights for adults tend to be black, the children’s ones may be colorful. Sometimes pink ones are designated for girls but overall the manufacturers aren’t making a point of that.
Safety Tips for Flashlights and Kids
Many children, especially very young ones, may stare into the light of a flashlight, and if it is quite bright this could be hard on their eyes. So only use one when you can supervise, until you know the kids will use it correctly. Repetition is the key to teaching.
Children tend to remember where you keep anything they want, so if you think they aren’t old enough to use your household flashlight when adults aren’t right there, choose your spots carefully for where you keep the flashlights. This could be because of how they would play with them but also if they might unscrew one and take the batteries out.
Another thing to watch out for is that if angry, young or impulsive children might throw a flashlight at another person, at a pet, or at objects nearby.
Older children are likely to have mastered these safety tips but they might need to understand that a laser pointer can have such a bright beam that it could harm someone’s eyes.
Flashlights are Fun!
If you are a parent, a relative, or a friend, you might want to give kids flashlights for the same practical reasons that you have some. Walking after dark, looking more closely at something — kids might be more interested in bugs than you are — having light if the electricity is off: all these and more are good reasons for kids to have them.
Besides, there is no getting around it. They are just plain fun! Besides everything that kids can make up for themselves,
- You could introduce them to playing hide and seek with flashlights.
- You could build an obstacle course that they would use their flashlights to get through.
- You could place a flashlight securely on a piece of furniture and shine its beam on a wall, and kids could use their hands to make shapes.
If you have further thoughts about children’s flashlights, do leave a comment!