3 language-boosting torchlight games for toddlers

Jan 10, 2016

The days are short, and the mornings in our house start early: it’s dark for hours when we get up, and hardly light before night begins. So we’re getting plenty of time for one of my kids’ favorite games: exploring by torchlight. All you need for this activity is a torch and a dark place. It’s guaranteed to capture your child’s imagination, and it’s amazing for language.

Torch games for toddlersTurn out your lights and turn on a torch. The first few times we did this I held the torch to start with, then handed it over. This gave my toddlers time to adjust to the new experience. Torchlight has a kind of magic. Your home will be transformed, and little ones become quiet and attentive in the dark. The experience can draw everyone together.

  1. Talk about the dark. For first-words learners, say ‘Wow, dark! It’s so daarrrk!’ Turn the torch on and off to teach these useful prepositions. Shine the torch on different people and things, and name what you can see. Play torchlight peekaboo.
  1. Play with shadows. Bringing your hand or small toys close to the torch will make their shadows big. Say ‘Bigger, bigger, bigger!’ as you show this to your child. Watch out though – this can be scary, so stop if your toddler gets frightened and give them a warm hug. Put on a shadow show of friendly animals, like dogs and birds.
  1. Hide things around the house and go on a torchlight hunt. Ask ‘Where’s …?’ to encourage questions and two-word phrases. Ask, ‘Is it on the sofa? No. Is it on the carpet? No. It’s on the chair! We found it!’ This game is great for location words and home vocabulary.

Make sure your space is safe for exploring in the dark, and have fun! This game can be played over and over in the winter months and continue to captivate children. It’s especially good for the witching hour between dinner and bath time!

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