Scary fun: Why kids should play in the dark

Nighttime games can liven things up—and maybe boost mental health.

Not long ago, Quynh Tran, her husband, and their two daughters, 11 and 14, skated under a Castro Valley, California, highway overpass after dark. They watched their shadows grow up the sides of the concrete walls and pretended the shapes were monsters eating each other. “It's really neat having that experience when no one's around,” Tran says. “And it's a different feeling when you do it in the dark.”

Playing in the dark can be a great way to take advantage of warm summer evenings or long winter nights while also mixing up routines—something many of us desperately need. Plus, having fun with the lights out can feel a little bit risky, and that’s a good thing for kids. Do it

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