Kids have a little bit too much energy right before bed? Catch them by surprise with these fun games to play in the dark to burn off that extra energy!
Here in the northern hemisphere the days are getting noticeably shorter. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. The crisp air is exhilarating and the daylight fades quite a bit sooner than my children’s energy.
It seems that I find myself looking for ways to help them burn off some of their late afternoon energy.
This year my middle son is really into exploring “safe” scary. He watches movies in the dark, plays “scary themed” make believe, and tries to scare his siblings.
This has led to some fun games to play in the dark in our house. And as luck would have it they seem to burn off just the right amount of energy before dinner and bedtime.
Find more ways to play in the witching hour between dinner and bedtime.
Scary (Yet Safe) Fun Games to Play in the Dark
These after dark games work with a variety of ages, my kids aged 2-12 all love them. They can be done inside with the lights off or outside.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t need to be completely dark. We have played at dusk,after dark with some light, and with no light. Each has its appeal for the kids.
If you have very young children, I would suggest playing at dusk or with some ambient light so no one gets hurt, or scared.
Glow in the Dark Bowling
This requires some prep but it’s really easy once you gather the materials:
Activate your glow sticks, drop them into the bottles and replace the lids.
(Note: this is a job for an adult, or older child, as the glow sticks can break. The contents are non-toxic, but it can stain).
Once you have your glow in the dark pins set up you’re ready to bowl!
After Dark Hide and Go Seek
Another classic! Just add flashlights and let the fun begin!
Smaller flashlights such as these are great.
For younger kids, have the hiders leave their flashlights on. Allow them to put them in a pocket to dim them (if they want).
For older kids, have hiders flash their lights every so often.
Tag in the Dark
To play tag in the dark, wear, or carry a glow stick or flashlight.
It’s amazing how a little twist on this classic game makes it new again!
Flashlight Scavenger Hunt
Whatever type of scavenger hunt you prefer to do, just wait until night and hand the kids a flashlight!
I love the Easter egg hunt style (where you go around and hide a several of the same item in an are) for this at night time.
A Word About Safety
Obviously, these materials and games require supervision.
It is also a good idea to check the area you intend to play in for obstacles and other dangers.
Before playing these fun games in the dark, establish a perimeter and discuss any rules while it is still light.
Consider playing a few rounds before dark so everyone is familiar with the boundaries.
Try one of these games with your kids and let us know how it went!