The Best Kids’ Lantern
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Getting your kid an appropriate lantern can come in handy whether you have plans for nighttime activities or you simply want to encourage imaginative play. The light can not only help your child find their way when outside at night but also during emergencies like power outages and can even help them get over a fear of the dark. Some lanterns also have special effects that project images to keep your kid entertained when lying down to sleep.
You’ll find that kids’ lanterns come in various designs that fit little hands and are easy to use. Many of them resemble smaller versions of adult lanterns but keep things simple with just one button to press. They are usually made of plastic in various colors and are often sturdy enough to handle more rugged play. You’ll usually find a hook or clip for hanging or carrying the lantern around, but sometimes there’s a handle that might fold down when not in use.
In contrast to adult-sized lanterns that may use other energy sources, such as fuel, kids’ lanterns usually stick with batteries to keep things safe. Kids’ lanterns tend to use two to four AA or AAA batteries, but you can find lanterns with built-in rechargeable batteries too. While a rechargeable lantern will save you money on batteries, keep in mind it might be less convenient than swapping batteries if you’re trying to use it away from an electrical outlet or during a power outage.
It’s common for kids’ lanterns to use LED lights that allow for more brightness and better battery life. But since kids’ lanterns focus on simplicity, many of them only have one level of brightness. However, you can find options that might include a dial or require your kid to press a button multiple times to adjust the light level. You can compare kids’ lanterns by looking at the lumens measurement for each and going with the option that provides the highest brightness level of the batch.
You’ll also want to consider where your kid will mostly use their lantern so you can get one suitable for indoors, outdoors or both. Many kids’ lanterns are more geared toward indoor use or outdoor activities where the lantern won’t get wet. However, you can find water-resistant or waterproof options that work well for camping or hiking in any type of weather.
Some kids’ lanterns will come with extra features that you might find convenient or unique. For example, some lanterns have a little compartment where your kid can store supplies like bandaids. You can also find kids’ lanterns that glow in the dark so they can be more easily located in the dark.
Our Picks For The Top Kids Lanterns
Portable Multifunctional Owl Kids’ Lantern
You'll find this kids' lantern set comes in a choice of a cute frog, dog or owl design. Thanks to the compact size and the built-in handle, the lantern is easy for smaller children to hold and carry. The lantern itself offers two lighting modes with the lights illuminating a full 360 degrees.
Multiple CharactersIncluded with this kids' lantern is a separate headlamp for nighttime reading.
Carabiner Clip LED Kids' Lantern
Made with durability in mind, this LED option can handle getting wet and is small enough to easily carry around on an adventure. You also get a clip that offers multiple ways to use the lantern.
Handles Rugged PlaySince it can handle getting wet, this kids' lantern is a great option for playing or camping outside.
Star Field Projector Kids Lantern
This kids' lantern not only works to offer a high level of brightness, but it also will project a star design on the ceiling when used inside a room or tent. It works best for indoor activities.
Entertaining FunIf your kid is a space fan, this unique lantern and projector can offer plenty of entertainment during indoor play.
Rechargeable Miniature Camp Kids' Lantern
Featuring a design resembling many adult lanterns, this option doesn't require that you buy batteries since you can recharge the internal battery. It's also light to carry and simple for small kids to use.
Convenient to UseIf you'd rather avoid replacing batteries, this recharging kids' lantern offers longevity and convenience for many hours of play.
What to Look For
- Pay attention to the age recommendations for kids’ lanterns. Some can have small parts that could present a hazard for the youngest children.
- If your lantern lets you adjust the brightness, keep in mind the effects on the battery, especially if you’re away from home. Using a lower brightness level can extend the battery life whether the lantern has rechargeable or replaceable batteries.
- Consider bringing your kid a backup light for activities away from home such as camping. Having a flashlight or spare lantern handy can prevent inconveniences and safety issues if the batteries run out.
- If your kid worries their lantern might look too plain, they could add some stickers for personalization. You can also consider some of the creative options out there, such as lanterns shaped like a favorite animal.
- You can often change the bulb if your child’s lantern no longer works. Check the accompanying manual for instructions on disassembling the lantern and replacing the bulb. If you aren’t sure what type of bulb to use, take the dead one into a hardware store and they should be able to help you find a match.
- Even kids’ lanterns that take AA or AAA batteries often work with rechargeable batteries. However, you’ll want to check first that your chosen lantern doesn’t have a manufacturer’s warning against this for safety reasons.
More to Explore
Consider all the creative uses possible to get the most from your kids’ lantern. Your kid will often find the lantern helpful for outdoor activities like hiking, camping and fishing. However, they’ll find plenty of indoor uses as well whether they’re attending a sleepover, pretending to camp indoors or even reading at night in bed.
A kids’ lantern doesn’t always need to be carried around to be useful, either. You might place a hook on the wall in your kid’s room and hang the lantern. This can provide a convenient nightlight near your child’s bed or something to grab for light in case the power goes during a storm. The lantern can also simply serve as a fun decoration when not in use.