Monday, April 2, 2012

10 Ways to Play with Push Lights

I found these fun little push lights at The Dollar Tree, my absolute favorite place.  I'll be honest, you can probably find better quality ones somewhere else, but you'll end up spending more than $1 I'm sure.  Each of these take 4 AA batteries and The Dollar Tree sells packs of 8 batteries for $1.  Score!

I love these lights because they're simple, produce a good amount of light, and are easy for a little toddler to turn on and off.  Olive loves them for all the same reasons.  We haven't really played anything specific with them yet except for just turning them on and off.  They are equally fun in the light as well as dark.

Even though we haven't used them (yet) in all these ways, here are some different ideas on how you can use push lights (with your toddler or even an older child):

1) Learning words:  on, off, push, light, dark

2) Energetic game:  Set up about 10 in a room and turn them all on.  You run around pushing them all off and your child runs around pushing them all back on.  This game could literally go on forever.

3) Cozy reading:  Turn off all the lights and set a few of the push lights around you.  Read books together by the light of the pushlights.

4) Stop and Go:  Child is in charge of pushing light on and off.  When she pushes the light on, you move/crawl/jump/skip/etc. towards her.  When she pushes the light off, you have to stop.  When you reach her, switch places.

5) Middle of the night diaper changing light (okay, not exactly a "play" use, but helpful, right?)

6) Homemade light table:  Put a few push lights on the floor and place a clear bin upside down over the lights.  Voila!  Light table is ready to use!

7) Set a few on the floor and play with scarves and/or light fabrics over top to see the light diffused through the fabric.

8) Make a campfire:  Tape some orange construction paper to the outside edge of the light and cut into "flame" shapes.  Use as a "campfire" for dolls and play animals.

9) Practice gross motor/ hand-eye coordination skills:  Set up a few lights on the ground.  Have your child toss bean bags (heavy enough to turn on the light) and try to get the bean bags to land on the light and turn it on.

10) Feelings buttons:  If your child isn't talking yet and has trouble expressing her emotions... Take a few lights and draw a face (or tape a picture) to each one that reflects a different emotion - happy, sad, angry, tired, hungry, etc.  When your child is upset, you can show them to push the light that shows how they are feeling.  If they start to feel different, they can push the light off and push another light on that shows how they are feeling now.

Do any of you have push lights in your home?  What are some of the ways that you use them for play?


  1. I never thought about using push lights in all of these ways. Great list!

    1. Thanks! It was actually kind of a challenge to me, too. Can I find 10 ways? Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Michelle VievilleApril 4, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I used them before when I was working in a preschool. I set up a dramatic play area and let the kid's pretend that they were the lights on a fire truck.

    1. Olive loves firetrucks! That's a great idea, thanks!

  3. How about a shape identification game?