Problem Solving: Flashlight Find

Despite the fact that the pictures from this activity look like snapshots from a mystery show, we really had a ton of fun doing this activity! Hopefully your child likes it too!

We went into my son’s room because I think it’s best to use a familiar room with familiar objects to find. We left the lights off, but the door open so it was dark but not so dark that it turned scary. Do what works best for your child and the room that you use. I started by showing him that I could find some of his favorite toys with the flashlight to give him the idea of the activity.


After that he took over and was so excited to move the flashlight around and find everything in his room! Young children love when things are personal and connect to them, so finding their own stuffed animals, their clothes, their toys, and other special things in their room will be a lot of fun! We even ended up exploring other rooms in our house with the flashlight, with a promise of doing it again downstairs when it got darker outside!

So, what’s going on here? Well, light is a scientific property and while we aren’t teaching or expecting a toddler or preschooler to know that, it is a fun interactive way to experiment. Young children are already little scientists constantly getting their hands on things to experience them, trying new things, and forming new concepts based on what happens.

This activity also acts as a problem solving activity as they have to experiment with how to use the light to find things in their environment. You could ask them where something is to add an element to the problem solving element. At first though, it will be a trial and error experience as they see how to use the light to find things.

I love this activity because it really is unlike anything else we have ever done, it is super fun, and it is completely hands on and open for experimenting. What happens when I shine the light on my stuffed animal? What if I get closer? What happens when I put the light on my night light? Give it a try and see  if you and your child enjoy this as much as we did!

Happy Playing!

Far away, and then close. First the light is big, and then it gets small. 


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