There are so many reasons to invest in a quality flashlight; camping, safety, late-night work, reading, and exploration.
As a mother, I am aware that kids love them and benefit from the versatility of flashlight play. This is why the number one children’s flashlight on my list is the Enbrighten 3-in-1 Combo Lantern. A Lantern that can transition from a camping lantern to a handheld flashlight to a desk lamp for reading.
I have spent hours researching the top flashlight brands and am confident that the list below reflects the best toddler flashlights on the market.
|Top 6 Best Toddler Flashlights||Why It's Best||Rating|
|Enbrighten 3-in-1 Combo Lantern||Versatile. Sturdy. Functional. Comfortable Grip.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|B. Toys "Light me to the Moon" Projector Flashlight||Educational. Compact. Sturdy. Easy to Use.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Dorcy Waterproof Flashlight||Water Resistant. Safe. Compact. Sturdy. Functional .||♥♥♥♥♥|
|John Deere TOMY Tractor Flashlight||Compact. Working Wheels. Functional Light. Sturdy Design.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|PETZL Children's Headlamp||Adjustable Band. Reflective Colors. Multiple Light Modes. Functional.||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Melissa and Doug Giddy Bug Light||Whimsical Design. Sturdy. Bright Light.||♥♥♥♥♥|
The Best Flashlights for Toddlers
Enbrighten 3 -in -1 Combo Lantern
The Enbrighten 3-in-1 Combo Lantern is a versatile product that can take the form of a flashlight, a desk lamp, or a lantern. It will mold to fit the needs of your child well and is a great gift for a little explorer. This product ages well with children as they explore in the dark, set up a lantern in a tent, or read by the light of the lamp.
Light Settings – This lantern is equipped with three different light settings; bright, white light for clear visibility, soft, cool light in order to save batteries and eyes, as well as a flashlight mode. The flashlight mode sits between these two options, offering plenty of visibility to young children while still bearing safety in mind.
Comfortable and Portable – The Enbrighten 3-in-1 Combo Lantern is a battery-operated portable device that requires 3 AA (not included with purchase) to function. The rubber is comfortable and the handle is easy to grip for small hands.
Long Battery Life – The glow from the lantern on its lowest setting is intended to last as long as 12 hours, giving it use as a night light as well as a flashlight or toy. This is a fun and functional product with many options for use.
Color Options – The Enbrighten combo lantern comes in 5 different color options. These options range from bright, colorful tones to a simple, sophisticated black option. This leaves plenty of room to find a color that children and adults can agree on.
Difficult for Toddler to Change Modes of Operation – The lantern is a little challenging to transition from each phase of use so a toddler would require assistance. This can create a bit more of a hassle when you are hoping for independent play but also acts as a safeguard to ensure they don’t transition it improperly.
B. toys – Light Me To The Moon – Children’s Projector Flashlight
The B. toys Children’s Projector Flashlight is a wonderful product that allows children to learn about outer space through play. This “Light me to the Moon” projector flashlight comes with 2 interchangeable slides; one featuring the 8 planets in our solar system, the other featuring a variety of cartoon aliens. This is a great toy for education and play, as well as a fun bedtime buddy for children who may need a light handy in their room.
Educational – Through a variety of 16 images, the “Light me to the Moon” flashlight seeks to engage children in Outer space. They will learn the names of the planets and a little about what they look like. The toy also fosters a love for space exploration and curiosity about space creatures. It provides a good blend of information and imagination to excite and entertain your child.
Compact Design – This is a compact product that will fit well in the hands of a toddler and be comfortable for use. It requires 2 AAA batteries to function, which are included with the purchase.
Ideal Brightness – Flashlights for children can be difficult to find. We don’t want anything too bright so as to blind them, and we do want something that gets the job done. The B. Toys flashlight walks the line well with a clear, gentle projector light. The images on the projector can be brought in and out of focus by twisting the top.
Quiet Toy – This toy does not come with a speaking function, so it can be a bedside companion without keeping the rest of the house awake. The pictures, however, are bright and engaging to encourage reading and memorization with adult help.
No Other Slides Available – While the B. Toys flashlight has received rave reviews for function and design, there is one consistent complaint. These two reels are the only options available for display. The space images are fun, engaging, and educational but once a child is bored with those there will be nothing new to offer.
No Auto-Shut Off Feature – This flashlight is equipped with a simple on/off switch that is easy to use for toddlers. However, if they were to fall asleep while playing with it or leave it on unattended, there is nothing in place to protect battery life.
Dorcy Waterproof LED Flashlight
For the purist looking for a traditional flashlight, The Dorcy Waterproof LED Flashlight is a superior option for safety and comfort. This product is water-resistant and floats if dropped in water making it an exceptional tool for outdoor exploration. This is a great toy for games of flashlight tag or camping retreats. The LED lights produce ample brightness to read or adventure by.
6 Color Options – The Dorcy Waterproof Flashlight comes in 6 different color options allowing it to appeal to your child’s specific taste. Many of the colors are very bright to draw the attention of little eyes.
Water-Resistant Features – Not only is the material itself water-resistant, but it is also designed to float if dropped in a puddle or off the side of a boat. This feature is helpful for grown-ups and children alike.
Comfortable – The rubber exterior of this compact flashlight is soft for a comfortable and secure grip in the hands of a toddler.
LED light – The LED light is built to last and produces great quality of light; bright enough to see and not so bright to blind everyone around.
Batteries Included – With the Dorcy Waterproof LED Flashlight you can begin the adventure immediately as the batteries (3 AA) are included with purchase. The product also boasts a high-quality design to encourage a long battery life.
Water-Resistant, not Waterproof – If the water safety features are what drew you to this flashlight, it is only fair to mention that it isn’t completely waterproof. It is a safety feature to protect the light from slips and drops, it is not intended to be left out in the rain or fully submerged in water.
No Replacement Bulbs – If the bulb on this light does burn out, there is no way to replace just the bulb. It would require a whole new flashlight which is an unfortunate waste and hassle. However, at less than $10 for a light, it isn’t terribly surprising or expensive.
TOMY John Deere Flashlight Toy
The John Deere Tractor Flashlight is an adorable, compact children’s flashlight toy that produces a healthy amount of light. It is a strong, durable product with great appeal to the tractor loving child. The wheels on the tractor do roll so it can be driven around as a car toy and used to light the room in the dark. It is a quiet toy with lights that run on a timer and automatically shut off after about 15 seconds of use. All in all, this is a great little flashlight/ toy combo!
Easily Operated By Toddlers – This is a very small flashlight toy with a handle perfectly designed to fit in the hands of a young child. The button is easy for a toddler to access and operate all on their own.
Durable After Multiple Falls – The TOMY tractor Flashlight is designed for toddlers, so naturally it is dropped often. During my research, I read countless reviews of this toy falling and nothing seems to have damaged it. It is a strong toy and capable of holding up to rough play.
Batteries Included – The flashlight comes equipped with the two AA batteries required so play can start the instant it is out of the box.
Quiet (no engine noises) – As a mother, I know the love children have for noisy toys and I also know how bothersome they can be to adults. This toy does not make any engine noises, it is simple and quiet. The design is purely for rolling around and shining a light in dark spaces. I would consider this a win, but it could disappoint a child hoping for that rumbling tractor sound.
Auto Shut Off Only – The flashlight has an auto-shut-off feature which allows the lights to run for about 15 seconds before turning off. This design is for battery conservation and has it’s benefits, however, there is no option to override it. The light can not stay on any longer than 15 seconds without needing to be restarted.
Check out more tractor toys for the heavy machine lover in your life!
PETZL Headlamp for Kids
The PETZL Headlamp for Kids is a great option for an adventurous child. It is perfect for a game of flashlight tag, a walk in the dark, exploring indoors or out, and even nighttime reading. I knew I wanted a headlamp on this list as it is such a great tool for hands-free, imaginative play. The PETZL definitely sets itself apart in this category. It boasts safety features such as soft light and a breakaway clasp and the band itself is reflective to make it easy to locate in the dark. This is a wonderful headlamp geared towards young children.
Safety First – The PETZL Headlamp for kids is a very safety conscious product. The light from the lamp emits a low soft glow to protect young eyes; both the child wearing the lamp and those around them. Another safety feature is the clasp on the band which will release if pulled on, protecting your child from any snags.
Bright, Reflective Colors – This headlamp comes in two different color options; a pink and purple band or a blue and green band. Both options are bright and have reflective markings on them which will light up in the dark, making them easy to locate.
Three Light Settings – The PETZL brand light comes with three different light settings; low, high, and flashing. All emit a soft, white light for eye protection but it allows them to play around with small variations.
Versatile Charging – Although the PETZL headlamp comes with three standard batteries it is compatible with a CORE rechargeable battery. A great option for your wallet and the environment as fewer batteries are wasted.
Stationary Light – The light on the PETZL headlamp can not be tilted up or down to as they read or explore which makes it a little more difficult to transition from one activity to the next.
Difficulty Changing Batteries – It would appear that the designers on this product really wanted to keep children out of the battery compartment. This is a wonderful safety feature but can be a little frustrating for adults as well. The battery compartment is only accessible through one very long, thin screw. It will take some time and patience to enter.
Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Flashlight
The Melissa & Doug Giddy Buggy Flashlight is a whimsical flashlight for Toddlers featuring an adorable bug with legs to stand on a dresser. The product also boasts an easy-grip handle to tote around. The flashlight is equipped with a simple on/off switch and will run until turned off, or until the batteries go out. This is one of the brighter flashlights on our list which makes it great for exploration but also requires additional adult supervision. All around a fun and cute toy, but the quality is lower than I would have anticipated in a Melissa and Doug toy.
LED light – The bright LED lights produce ample light to explore and read by, although there is a concern for being overly bright. This will simply require adult supervision and flashlight education.
Kid-Friendly Handle – The handle on the Giddy Bug Flashlight is the perfect size for little hands and comes equipped with an easy to use on/off switch.
Batteries Not Included – The 2 AA batteries required to operate the Giddy Bug flashlight are not included, so that makes for an additional purchase. It is also worth noting that the battery compartment is not easily accessible. Again, this is great for safety but very time-consuming.
No Way To Replace Bulb After Burnout – There are multiple reports of the bulb eventually burning out or responding poorly to a fall. After this happens, unfortunately, there is no way to replace the bulb alone. The next step would be to purchase a whole new flashlight.
Little Experimenter Toy Binoculars
The Little Experimenter Toy Binoculars is a great option for nature enthusiasts or explorers. The binoculars offer a small degree of magnification to encourage children to learn about the plants and animals around them during day time use. The green light on the end provides night vision for play after dark. Whether your child is wanting to emulate nature explorers or military action night-vision goggles these are great for imaginative play and education.
Break-away Neck Strap – The neck strap is an excellent tool to keep the binoculars handy and keep them from becoming lost. It’s a highly functional piece of equipment that also took safety into consideration. The clasp is a break-away clasp designed to snap open if snagged so you can be confident in your child’s well-being.
Comfortable, Durable Plastic – The non-toxic plastic which makes up these binoculars is comfortable to the grip and durable when dropped. The soft, flexible plastic near the eyes is an especially nice feature as it will be more enjoyable for children to play with.
Batteries Included – Your child can begin playing right away as the 3 LR44H needed for use are included with purchase.
Minimal Magnification – The magnification aspect of the binoculars is minimal, 2x magnification is all it will do. The picture it produces is clear and enough to entertain a young child, but may bore older children quickly.
Weak Night Vision Flashlight – Again, this is definitely a toy for young children. The night vision flashlight is a mild green light that doesn’t produce significant brightness.
VTech Spin and Learn Flashlight
The VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight is a very fun toddler toy. The lights on it flash a variety of colors and it sings educational songs about letters, numbers, and animals. The only reason it is lower on my list is that it isn’t a true flashlight, it is a toy that looks like a flashlight and has some color changing lights on it. It is built for entertainment and education, not exploration.
Color Changing Lights – The flashing lights on the VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight rotates through a cycle of 5 different colors to keep the interest alive.
Educational Songs – This toy plays a selection of educational songs about letters, numbers, and animals. All those fun, learning songs that toddlers love so much!
3 Color Options – This VTech Flashlight comes in 3 different color options to appeal to the individual child in your life.
Sturdy and Compact for Small Hands – The plastic used for this toy is high quality and makes it sturdy for slips and drops. The small design and functional handle, however, should ensure fewer drops happen as the flashlight is perfectly suited for toddler hands.
Auto Shut Off – The lights on the VTech Spin and Learn Flashlight shut off after 45 seconds of not being in use to conserve battery.
Batteries Included – The two AAA batteries necessary to use the Flashlight are included with purchase for immediate play.
No Actual Flashlight – This is a great toy that will provide hours of entertainment and let them pretend to explore with their flashlight alongside mom or dad. Although, it will not emit much light of its own. The lights are colorful and playful, not strong.
Very Noisy – Even with the two volume switches, the noise levels have been described as “loud and louder”. Although I am certain a toddler would adore this toy, a parent may not.
Energizer LED Headlamp for Kids
The Energizer LED Headlamp for Kids is another wonderful headlamp for the hands-free child. This brightly-colored yellow band comes with two different snap-on lights; one pink and one green. The band itself is washable to discourage any funky odors and the light is a great brightness for children. This a great tool for exploration outdoors, in homes, or in books!
Adjustable Headband – This headlamp is made for young children so you can be confident the band will tighten to a small head.
Machine Washable Band – The Energizer LED headlamp comes with removable faceplates to make for easy laundering of the band in an effort to eliminate funky odors.
Soft Light – The glow from the LED lights is soft and safe for children’s eyes while still allowing them to explore in the dark.
Easy to Operate – The on/off function is a simple push of a button to start and stop. There is no auto shut off, this Energizer lamp will run until turned off.
Unusual Batteries – This headlamp runs on Energizer CR2032 batteries, which are included with purchase. The batteries work well but are not the type that is usually hanging around the house. This would be an added item to keep in stock and a potential nuisance.
Sun Company Bear LED Headlamp
The Sun Company Bear LED Headlamp is a wonderful tool for the outdoor explorer. The fun design of this headlamp is greatly appealing to nature-loving toddlers, and the bears do actually roar when the light first turns on. The functions of this product are great; bright lights and durability. It would have been higher on my list if it weren’t so bulky. The bear heads are adorable but large for a young child.
Light and Sound and Light Only Options – With the Sun Bear headlamp, a small roar is heard when the light first turns on. This is fun and engaging but has the potential to be annoying. Fortunately, there is a light only mode that can address that issue.
Batteries Included – The 3 AAA batteries required to run the Sun Bear headlamp are included with purchase.
Large Size – This product is technically marketed for ages 6 and up. It is designed for larger heads, from the band size to the bear mounted on the front. This would not be a great option for a toddler of medium or small size but would work well for a larger toddler.
Buying Criteria for Toddler Flashlights
When purchasing a toddler flashlight it is important to determine what you want to use it for.
If you are looking for assistance in outdoor walks then a headlamp or solid, traditional flashlight would be your best option. You may be hoping for a dance party or camping light, in which case a lantern is something to consider. If you are seeking purely entertainment, then a projector flashlight or singing toy may be your best fit!
Of course, this is one of the reasons we love the Enbrighten 3-in-1 Combo Lantern, because it covers so many of these uses in one light.
When it comes to safety there are a few things to consider.
Waterproofing – You want to purchase high-quality materials that can hold up to loads of drool and potential drops in puddles. There are several high-quality plastic toys on this list as well as some with a rubber exterior. The Dorcy Waterproof LED Flashlight is an exceptionally great option for exploring wet places.
Material – Although rubber is great for insulation and waterproofing, it can create choking hazards on toys where it is easily removed. There are some Amazon flashlights that didn’t make the cut on this list for that very reason.
Fire Hazard – The reviews and information I found on every single flashlight promoted here were wonderful and encouraging on safety information. There only amazon toy which held negative reviews for smoke smells and melted plastic was the Melissa and Doug Petal Flashlight.
The more whimsical flashlights such as the Melissa and Doug Giddy Bug light are enjoyable for young children. Older kids, on the other hand, are likely to engage with toys that look or function more like a regular flashlight.
For headlamps specifically, the Petzl Kids Headlamp is ideal for younger children with its small band and bright, reflective colors. Then for older children, I would recommend the Foxelli Rechargeable Headlamp for its bright light, durability, and USB charging.
FAQs About Toddler Flashlights
What are different ways can my toddler play with a flashlight?
There are so many fun ways to engage your child in flashlight play!
Shadow Puppets– You may enjoy some sweet moments tucking your toddler into bed while making shadow puppets on the ceiling and sharing a story.
Story Time– Holding the flashlight for storytime is a wonderful way to foster confidence in a young child. These important jobs are great for a child’s self-esteem and development.
Dance party– Dance parties by the light of a lantern are a great way to get wiggles out before bed and enjoy time laughing together.
Flashlight Tag– Flashlight Tag is a classic game for young children that helps get out loads of energy! The headlamps on this list will give any child a leg up in a game of Flashlight Tag, as they get to have their hands free.
Exploration– A flashlight is a great tool for little adventurers, whether they are sneaking around outside or in an unlit room.
Stargazing– You may use a flashlight as a wonderful introduction to the night sky. You can spend time with your child finding constellations and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Indoor or Outdoor Campfires– Flashlight stories around a campfire are a timeless favorite. Your child will enjoy getting to participate in the conversation and have a light handy as the sky darkens. You can even enjoy a pretend campfire indoors, with products such as the S’more Fun Campfire Set by Fisher-Price.
What safety concerns are there with flashlights for toddlers?
The biggest safety concerns with toddlers and flashlights are biting and blinding.
Biting can lead to choking if chunks of rubber are bitten off of a flashlight or cause damage to the batteries from excessive drool. This is a good reason to look for hard plastic or high-quality rubber flashlights and to supervise their play.
Children love flashlights and have a tendency to get up close and personal with them. Most of these children’s lights have a softer glow to protect young eyes, but it still requires training and participation.
What is the best toddler flashlight for all night use?
For a child who is afraid of the dark, a nightlight buddy is a wonderful option. These flashlights and lanterns all run on batteries, so it would be best to look into a sound machine buddy. Our article for Best Sound Machines includes some wonderful options for night lights and lullabies.
Are there good flashlight options for stocking stuffers or party favors?
Yes! You can purchase the EverBrite 9 LED light Pack for a very reasonable price and with great results. These are comprised of high-quality rubber for a strong and comfortable grip. They come in an array of bright colors, making them easy to track down. They are durable, bright flashlights that are just the perfect size for little hands. The biggest challenge with these lights is that the batteries are included with purchase but wrapped separately. You would have to plan some time for unwrapping and inserting batteries into each flashlight.
Are there any good options for flashlights that don’t require batteries?
The Foxelli USB rechargeable headlamp is a high-quality product that can use any USB port. It lasts for a long time on a single charge and is built to last. This is an absolutely fantastic adult product, it is a little large and expensive for a toddler. Older children or adults, however, would get great use out of this headlamp.
The PETZL Headlamp has the capability to offer rechargeable batteries to help reduce waste.
Flashlights are a great tool for children who are afraid of the dark and they are an opportunity to model after mom and dad.
The toys on this list represent a large variety of flashlight offerings that can benefit any child. They can enjoy watching the lights dance across the surface as they swing a flashlight in hand. Your child can take an opportunity to learn about the night sky, or explore the backyard. They can enjoy camping with a lantern or exploring with binoculars. These are excellent items for creative family play.
The Enbrighten 3-in-1 Combo Lantern specifically can engage your child in a number of fun activities.