experiments,  light,  Project Approach,  Reggio,  reggio emilia,  science

Flashlight Play

If you’re looking for some fun activities that children will love, that incorporate science, and that may be just a little different than your typical preschool activities then flashlights might be just what you need.  First things first, you’ll need enough flashlights for multiple children to use at once.  There are a few ways to gather these; ask your families to bring in flash lights from their homes, visit the local hardware store and ask for a donation, or order a set from Oriental Trading.

Once you’ve got your flashlights think about how you want to use them.  Can you make your classroom dark enough for them to work well? Is it possible to cover your windows in order to make the room darker? Can you create a dark space in the classroom (I love the blanket fort method)? Is there another room or space that gets darker that you could use? Thinking through the answers to these questions before you give the children their flashlights will help you make sure that the experience is successful – although working with the children to figure out why the flashlights aren’t very bright and how you could make them appear brighter could be a good problem solving activity too.

Finally, you’ll want to gather some materials to explore with your flashlights – any items that impact the way light shines is perfect. Some ideas include:

  • Small mirrors
  • Colored transparencies or cellophane
  • Xrays
  • Prisms
  • Construction paper with holes punched in it
  • Saran wrap
  • Transparent colored plastic cups
  • Tissue paper
  • Old CDs
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic water bottles
  • Magna-Tiles
  • Plastic easter eggs
Giving your students plenty of time to explore these materials with their flashlights will surely lead to additional questions to explore and new materials to test!

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