Torches allow tamariki to be scientists as they explore light and shadows, as well as learning how a torch works. When whānau join the play, new language is introduced to tamariki and safe, respectful play is encouraged.

Why do it?

  • Playing with a torch lets a child explore light and shadows. This is a simple science experience.
  • It can be a shared experience and can strengthen language learning. It’s a chance to introduce and use some new words too. Bright, beam, ātārangi (shadow), aho (shine).
  • A child can use their own creativity playing with a torch.
  • It’s an opportunity to talk about safe and respectful play. For example, no shinning in eyes, take turns with the torches.

How to do it

You need a torch with full batteries. Two torches makes for even more fun.

  • Wait for it to become dark or pull the curtains.
  • At first, let the child play freely with the torch to help them find out how it works and to gain control of where the light shines.
  • Play with shadows using objects in front of the torch to cast shadows on the wall.
  • Use their hand to make hand shadows. Ask them to move their hand or fingers to change the shadow.
  • Experiment further with what their shadows can do. Can their shadows wave, point, finger walk up steps or fly?
  • Some coloured cellophane taped over the torch can add more fun, by making colours appear on the wall.