Flashlight Spot-and-Tell

One of Big Brother’s favorite Christmas presents this year was a Thomas the Train flashlight he got from my parents. He has used it nonstop for the last 2 days. We finally had to take it away on Christmas Night because he wouldn’t go to sleep!
I had the stomach flu yesterday and now Big Brother has it…so we are trying to find creative ways to stay sane and still take it easy.
Due to his new found love of flashlights, I thought this little game would be fun!
Here’s what you’ll need:  a flashlight, painter’s tape, and an alphabet sign (I used my alphabet from my classroom–you could also use numbers, colors, or shapes).

1. Hang up the alphabet using the painter’s tape (so it doesn’t take off the paint on your wall) in a room that can be pretty well darkened.

2. Arm your little one with a flashlight!

3. Get started! First have your child point to a letter on the wall with the flashlight and tell you what the letter name is. Next, add a new spin on the game by calling out a letter and having your child use the flashlight to point to it.

This game was a HUGE hit. We’ll be doing this one again for sure…I’d also like to hang up some number cards and try it with that.


  1. This is a great idea! My kids love to play with flashlights and a great game for bad weather days and mommy sick days.

  2. I love this idea! You could also do a hide and seek variation. Mom describes an item and child looks for it using the flashlight…"I'm thinking of something that we use to tell time".

  3. I used to do this in my classroom (we only had one small window…so it was pretty dark in there) and I've been doing it with my little ones every since they began their fascinations with flashlights. We use this poem to go along with the game: "Flashlight, flashlight what do you see? Find a letter just for me." My son just moves the flashlight around until the end of the poem and whatever letter it lands on is the one he identifies. For my daughter, I used to replace "letter" in the poem for "word" and she would find words on the word wall.

  4. Oops…I wrote "every" up there on the second line of my previous comment when I meant "ever." It drives me batty when I make mistakes like that…people are probably thinking, "Good thing she's not in a classroom anymore!" LOL!

  5. What a great idea! All the rooms in our little townhouse have windows (which is wonderful!), but I was thinking this would be a fun evening activity for winter nights when it gets dark so early! I'm sure we will enjoy this, although the days are getting longer now.

  6. oh love it need a alaphabet thing now something like yours Need to encourage my 3 yr old with learning the alaphabet and numbers try to get him to do it but he is a little behind in this I think for his age and he is so stubborn too!!
    Love it so going to do this thanks for the great inexpensive idea!

  7. We’ve played a similar game when we do backyard camping in our yard. I’ll have the kids try to locate certain objects in the dark or if I want to get really creative, I’ll place specific objects out in the yard before the kids come out and I’ll have a list for them to check off once they’ve found the objects with their flashlights. They’re also amazed when they see our cat’s eyes glowing when the light hits them just right as they’re running through the yard.

  8. Very interesting and unique idea i think. I will must try.
    My elder son just moves the flashlight around until the end of the poem and whatever letter it lands on is the one he identifies. For my younger son, I used to replace “letter” in the poem for “word” and he would find words on the word wall.

  9. Great idea!!! I love the A-Z Letter Recognition ideas on your site. I have a question for you. How much time do you spend on each letter? I will be babysitting a preschool aged boy this fall, but only two days per week. Thanks for your help and advice!

  10. This was a huge hit as you said it was for you! I would have never thought of such a unique but fun game for my two boys! I think it has something to do with being in the dark and giving them the flashlight which gives them control of the light and makes it even more fun than just doing typical letter and word learning. Love it and will tell my friends who will also love it!

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