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Stuff to Do at Night for Kids

by Zora Hughes

For children, the fun doesn't have to end when the sun goes down. As long as it's not a school night, you can engage your child in exciting and entertaining nighttime activities, both outdoors and indoors. Choose activities that are appropriate to the age of your child and also keep safety in mind.

Stargazing

One of the simplest yet coolest activities to do with kids at night is to check out the stars on a cloudless night. Grab a blanket and take your child to the backyard or perhaps a nearby park away from streetlights so he can see the stars. Point out constellations and important stars such as the North Star. A telescope is especially helpful, but it isn't necessary. You can also bring along a book on constellations and a flashlight so your child can read about certain constellations, then try to find them in the night sky.

Night Games

Flashlight tag can be played indoors or outdoors in a fenced-in yard at night. For this game, kids try to hide somewhere as best as they can, while the child who is "it" counts to 10. With most of the lights out, that child must use a flashlight to try to find the other children. If he spots someone with the flashlight and can identify the person, that person is out and must wait in "jail" until the rest are found. For older kids, a nighttime game of capture the flag outside can be a lot of fun with a large group. Divide the group into two teams, each with a territory, a jail and a visible flag. The other team must try to capture the other teams flag by sneaking onto their territory without getting caught. If they are caught, they are put in jail, but their teammates can free one player at a time by tagging them. The first team to steal the other teams flag and make it back to their territory wins. Have plenty of adult supervision, especially if the kids are playing in a public area.

Marshmallow Roast

Provided that your community allows building a fire in your backyard, you can have a marshmallow roast for your child and his friends. Bring graham crackers and chocolate to make s'mores. You can switch it up with flavored marshmallows such as chocolate and strawberry. Have the children come up with funny or scary stories. For older kids, have them team up in pairs and try to come up with the most unusual story, with a prize for the one voted the best.

Indoor Night Activities

Cut out all the lights, point a flashlight at the wall and have the kids put on a hand-puppet show. Start off by showing young children how they can use their hands to create animal-shaped shadows, then encourage them to come up with a whole story. For a classic nighttime activity, make some popcorn and have a movie night. For special occasions, turn it into a slumber party and invite a bunch of your child's friends over. To give it a real movie-going experience, you can set up a concession stand for popcorn, drinks and other snacks, and also designate a ticket-taker.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

  • Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images