How to Play Flashlight Tag? Rules, Safety Guidelines & More

Last Updated on May, 2024

When it gets dark, it does not mean you cannot engage in exciting, fun activities. Flashlight tag is an awesome after-dark game that is pure fun for the whole family.

Of course, it is loved by both kids and adults.

And flashlight tag is one of the most entertaining and oldest flashlight games. 

So, in this article, you will learn how to play flashlight tag for a delightful flashlight game experience.

Let’s get started!

Quick Summary

Flashlight tag is an exciting game played in the dark that combines hide and seek and tag and can be enjoyed by both kids and adults.

Playing flashlight tag helps improve visual and social skills of kids.

To play flashlight tag safely, it is important to set boundaries, check for potential hazards, decide on a signal, and use common sense.

What Do You Need to Play Flashlight Tag?

LED Flashlights on the table
a human holding flashlight batteries
dark night

You DO NOT need many tools or equipment to play flashlight tag.

So, here’s what you’ll need to play the game.

  • Three or more people (It is even more fun when you have more people)
  • A flashlight
  • Extra batteries (It is better to have some extra batteries for backup)
  • A dark night
  • An open area

What is the Objective of Flashlight Tag?

The main objective of this game is to hide in the dark without making a noise. And to stay away from getting lit up by the flashlight.

How Do You Play Flashlight Tag?

people holding flashlights at night

The rules involved in flashlight tag are FREAKING SIMPLE! 

And it is a really easy game, even for small kids. Basically, flashlight tag is hide and seek and tag in the dark.

This game is played at night, and getting tagged means getting lit up by the light.

Many kids love playing outside at night during the summer. And they love to play with flashlights when it is dark.

So, let’s check out how to play flashlight tag to get some flashlight fun. Shall we?

First, you will have to wait until it is dark to play this game. But, if you do not like to let your kids play in the dark or if the children are scared of the darkness, evening will also be fine. 

However, you can use silly string instead of flashlights to play this game during the day.

Parents can also join the children to play the game and have some fun.

DON’T FORGET! If the batteries quit, it will ruin the game. So, take some extra batteries with you, if you will have to replace them.

Select one person as the “it” for the flashlight tag. “It” is the only player that gets the flashlight. And the flashlight must remain ON all the time, and “it” should not cover the light.

If more than one person wants to be “it” first, you will have to draw sticks, flip a coin, or pick numbers out of a hat and choose “it”.

Then, the “it” participant closes their eyes or blindfolds and starts counting to a high number while other players hide.

The higher the number, the more time the other players have to hide during flashlight tag.

Once the “it” person counts to the chosen number, they can start looking for other kids hiding in the dark using the flashlight.

“It” should use the light to search, get close enough, and catch the people hiding.

When the “it” person finds a hiding player, they must shine the flashlight beam on the hider. Then, the “it” player should call out their name.

Once a hider is caught with the flashlight beam, they are out. And the eliminated kids should wait at an assigned spot, such as a tree, veranda, or mailbox. 

These children should wait in that spot until all the other kids are found.

And when the flashlight tags all the children, they meet at the assigned spot. Then, they can select a new “it” person and start a new flashlight tag game.

First you must have flashlights to play this game. Here are the best picks for flashlights for kids.

What are the Variations of Flashlight Tag?

a child holding a flashlight at night

When one person gets caught, it allows for creating variations of flashlight tag.

So, let’s take a look at the variations of this entertaining game.

One variation is giving the flashlight to the first person who gets caught. Then, they become “it”. 

Depending on the number of people you have, you can play as individuals or as a team.

I am sure you’ll ENJOY it more if you play it as a team!

So, another way to play is to have more than one person or a team to be “it”. In this variation, the team members of “it” tag the other friends with their flashlights.

And the players who are not “it” can tag their friends or team members to make them free from the assigned spot. 

Moreover, some team members of “it” can watch the others and guard the assigned spot to stop others from freeing them.

It will be an EXCITING adventure for the kids when they play with their flashlights at night. Don’t you think?

While playing, the children will explore interesting new ways to make the game even fascinating.

One such way is to move to the places “it” has already searched and hide there. 

And another strategy is to follow “it” without getting spotted. 

Wanna know how to make it even more challenging?

The kids can camouflage themselves with face painting and wear dark clothes. Then, it will be more difficult for “it” to spot the other players.

Plus, it will give the hiders more time to stay hidden from “it”.

Also, this strategy allows children to develop guerilla warfare tactics in their minds.

What are the Benefits of Playing Flashlight Tag?

Children holding flashlights at night

Flashlight tag is a kind of a hide and seek game played in the dark.

And there are some excellent benefits a child can gain from playing flashlight tag.

So, let’s take a look at them!

  • Strengthens visual scanning skills

Playing flashlight tag increases the ability to move eyes smoothly from left to right and up and down. As a result, this develops the capability to scan and navigate the environment avoiding obstacles.

  • Improves visual tracking skills

This game also develops visual tracking skills by engaging in tracking moving objects. So, it facilitates the development of eye muscles needed for reading and writing.

  • Facilitates social interaction

When kids play flashlight tag, it helps them to develop social interaction opportunities. This game allows them to play and move along with others. They will also learn to work as a team to make the game successful.

Safety Guidelines to Play Flashlight Tag

Boundary cone on the floor
Low hanging branches
a child giving Signal sound

You should pay EXTRA ATTENTION to safety when playing in the dark. 

Especially if the kids are playing outdoors at night, parents should be super careful about the environment.

Of course, the kids can play inside if letting them go out in the dark bothers you. You can let them play it inside the house. Just turn off all the lights and let the players hide indoors. 

However, make sure to follow the below-mentioned safety measures if you let children play flashlight tag outside.

So, let’s check them out!

Set the Boundaries

Before you start the game, let all children know how far they can go. And instruct them not to roam beyond that perimeter.

Check for Potential Hazards

You should carefully look at the playing area and hiding spots for dangers before you let the children play outdoors.

So, look out for:

  • Holes and pits
  • Logs or other tripping objects
  • Low hanging branches
  • Other obstacles like picnic tables

Decide on a Signal

Discuss and agree on a signal like a code word to yell or call out to others.

And ask the children to use that signal if they feel scared or unsafe.

However, using the signal will stop the game.

Use Common Sense

You should never play near dangerous areas, such as a campfire, a lake or pond, or in traffic.

And make sure you use dim flashlights. Never let the players shine bright lights into others’ eyes. It will cause eye irritation.

Also, avoid laser pointers because they can cause temporary blindness and harm eyesight.

Related article: 15 Best Flashlight Games


Flashlight tag is an exciting game played in the dark using flashlights. It is a combination of hide and seek and tag, played by both kids and adults.

Flashlight tag has simple rules and does not require much equipment. You can involve more people in the game to make it more interesting!

And playing this activity also improves the visual and social skills of kids.

However, it is crucial to look over the environment before playing flashlight tag out in the dark.

Well, now you can play flashlight tag to enjoy a thrilling night’s entertainment!


Yes, flashlight tag can be played indoors and outdoors. It is especially fun when there is a power cut and can be a great alternative to traditional indoor activities.

The maximum number of players for Flashlight Tag is unlimited, but the minimum is two. The more players, the more fun the game can be, but it can also make the game last longer.

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Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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