Torch Chasey!

by Deb on June 16, 2009

A simple one for my first activity, that fits with the Baby page already up. 


  • A torch!  Preferably a fairly heavy duty one that will survive being played with.
  • A mobile baby or toddler.
  • For extensions – some cushions and blankets, coloured cellophane or tissue paper.


Torch Chasey – Use a torch to make a moving spot of light on the floor, my girls need no encouragement to take off after it.  Interestingly, the little one gets down and crawls even though she’s an accomplished walker – she’s getting close to the spot to really check it out and see what it is.


Observation of a moving object –

  • Seeing and following the light.
  • Trying to touch it.
  • Seeing the different sizes at different distances.
Chasing the light spot

Chasing the light spot


There are lots of simple words and concepts you can use with your baby while doing this activity –

light, dark, move, follow, come on!, over here!, up, down, under, on top, big, little, body parts


  1. Make an obstacle course then move them through it.  This is great for co-ordination.  As well as under and around, I like to pile up cusions and pillows and cover them with a blanket, seen in the photo.
  2. Older siblings just love moving the torch!  It’s a great game they can play together, they both get a job they are capable of.
  3. Put different things over the end of the torch – cellophane, thin fabric, tissue paper, different colours, … Let’s your baby observe lots of different things.
  4. Stand at different distances to give different sized light spots.  Torch lights tend to be quite interesting, with lots of spots in them.  When they are big, babies will try to feel the different parts of the light to see if they feel different or just look different.  When it is close, they can feel the warmth. 
  5. Let them move their hands in and out of the light – they’re used to objects disappearing when their hand covers them.  The light appearing on the back of their hand is fascinating (and can be hilarious to watch as they turn their hands over and look for it).
  6. Shine the torch on different parts of their body.  Tummy and feet are especially popular here.
  7. Give them the torch and see what they do!

My little scientist’s first captured experiment.

While I was taking the photos for this blog, I captured my little scientist’s first experiment.  It isn’t really her first, but it’s the first time I’ve watched her and realised that’s what she’s doing!   She grabbed the torch and pointed it at the floor, moving it up and down and trying to touch the light.  This is a baconian experiment – she’s asking herself “What happens if I do this?”

Shining the light on the floor.

Shining the light on the floor.

 And having a camera in my hand was a huge bonus, although she was a bit too quick for good photos.

Shining a torch on different objects.

Shining a torch on different objects.

Then she walked around and started shining it on different objects, still moving it up and down.
“So does the same thing happen over here?  What happens if I point it at this?”
OK this may seem like a lot of excitement, but she’s a 4th generation scientist so it’s important to me!  And just as important is that I spotted it and recorded it right now.  The reason I’m setting up this site is because I know little kids do this, it’s really nice to confirm it just as I’m launching 🙂  
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Suzi October 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I love your Thursday thirteens! My boys love torches but get so curious that they want to look right into it to see what’s making it bright. This freaks me out. How do you keep them from doing this? Torches are 100% supervised from now on. bit of a bummer as they have so much fun on their own in a dark room :o)


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