If you are immersed in light table play like we are, then you are likely best friends with the clerks at the dollar store already. If not, then surely you've noticed that the dollar store is the best way to find light table accessories. We have used all sorts of crazy things from the dollar store on our light table. But sometimes you can take one item from the dollar store and do multiple activities with it. For instance, we did about 11 billion things with sun catchers from the craft aisle. Okay, maybe not a 11 billion, but we used the sun catchers to explore art, math, and literacy. And it kept the boys busy and quiet for an entire day.
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Beware, there are lots of pictures in this post because we did a lot of things with two simple materials. You'll need:
You might also want to keep a damp cloth handy to wipe the light table in between activities. Also, please try out the dry erase markers in a corner first to make sure they will not stain your light table. However, if a color does leave marks behind, then try using a Magic Eraser to clean it up! It works perfectly.
The first thing that the boys did was color the sun catchers. Coloring in between all those lines is great fine motor work.
You'll end up with a cast of colorful characters. Note the pink and green giraffe.
We also sorted and classified the different sun catchers. J liked to create his own categories, like food, and/or trace over the category words that I wrote.
Once J matched up all the pieces of our puzzle, he went around and wrote the name of each object.
Then as can be expected with J, it turned into math. We did some simple addition sentences, including adding three numbers. He set up all the equations by himself and loved it.
He also wanted to do some greater than and less than comparisons.
And then we did what any math-obsessed five year old would do: fractions! Ha! This kid loves fractions. He would grab a handful of sun catchers and create a fraction based on how many were shaded/colored. So for example, three of the five sun catchers have been colored.
I'm sure that there are many other things we could use these sun catchers for, but I think that's a pretty good start! Here are some other dollar store light table ideas: