Friday, March 15, 2013

Our Light Box and Why I Love It

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After reading about all the great light box play activities on Play at Home Mom, I just knew I had to have one for J (K wasn't born yet).  But have you seen the prices on them?!  Yikes!  Instead, I purchased a small tracing light box from Michael's using a 50% coupon.  It works perfectly for just one kid so I will likely need to invest in something bigger if I want both boys to play on it together.  Actually, I would love to build my own light box, but it hasn't happened yet and probably won't for awhile.  So for the meantime, my small light box will have to do.

Why I Love the Light Box

  1. The light box is a great way for them to learn about transparency and opaqueness.  They can explore different objects and test to see whether or not light will pass through them.
  2. When we play with the light box, we always turn off the lights around us.  Turning out the lights allows the boys to tune out all their surroundings, enabling them to focus on just one thing (an important skill nowadays with so much going on around us).  It's mesmerizing.
  3. It is versatile, open-ended, and can lead to lots of imaginative play.
  4. It can transform ordinary objects or even give life to objects the boys no longer are interested in exploring.
  5. Adds another sensorial dimension to play.  Seriously, what kid doesn't enjoy looking at objects that glow or light up.
Objects to Use on the Light Box
There are so many objects that you could explore using the light box.  Some of our favorites have been:
  • Tube shots
  • Glass beads of various colors
  • Squishy bags (Basically it's glitter, food coloring, and hair gel in a bag.  I hope to post about one soon, but I have to make a new one as our old one exploded.)
  • Transparent gems
  • Plastic containers, clear or colored
Other objects that would work, but we haven't tried yet:

  • Water beads
  • Colored water in different containers
  • X-rays
  • Transparent Lego or building blocks
  • Transparent pattern tiles
  • Transparent letters and numbers
  • Transparent bingo chips
  • Photo negatives
This list is not exhaustive by any means, but you get the idea.  And I am always keeping my eye open for random objects at the dollar store that might work on the light box.

The Light Box in Action
Here are a few pictures from our most recent light box play...

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