Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Light Table Activity for Kids

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Looking for Christmas light table ideas? Try this simple color matching Christmas light table activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

Christmas is sneaking up on me quicker than I care to admit. But the other day, J pulled out my Christmas piano book, asking me to play some Christmas carols for him. I guess he's ready to get into the spirit of the season. So maybe it's time for some Christmas activities? Or perhaps a seasonal light table activity or two? 

To fulfill his interest, I came up with this Christmas light table activity. It took me a few minutes to set up, but it kept both boys busy for an entire afternoon. And I'm sure many more afternoons to come.

So if you're looking for simple and engaging light table Christmas activities, then give this idea a try. It's great for toddlers and preschoolers.

Simple Christmas light table activity for toddlers and preschoolers that works on color matching

What You'll Need for this Christmas Light Table Activity for Kids

Here's what you'll need to recreate this Christmas themed light table play at home (or in the classroom!) with your own kids:

  • Colored glass stones in red, green, and white - You might also need a yellow stone if you don't have a yellow transparent star to use for the Christmas tree. Or you might need additional colors depending on what shapes or images you draw.
  • Clear overhead transparency sheets - You'll need to draw the templates for the different Christmas shapes onto these. You could use white paper in a pinch too since the light from the light table will still be able to shine through it.
  • Colored permanent markers - You'll need to draw colored dots on the transparencies using Christmas colors such as red and green. They should match the glass stones you'll be using for this light table idea.
  • Light table, light box, or light panel - We're using our homemade light table, as usual. You can find the DIY light table tutorial here.

First, we need to make our templates for the light table. Simply draw various shapes onto the overhead transparency using permanent markers. Try to make the dots roughly the same size and color as the glass stones you will be using. 

I drew a few familiar Christmas shapes: a candy cane, a wreath, a Christmas tree, and some holly, but feel free to draw other symbols and shapes if you'd like. Maybe you want to make Santa's face or Christmas lights or something. Here's what our finished templates looked like:

Christmas shapes drawn on clear transparencies sitting on a light table

You'll notice that I also wrote the name of the item on the transparencies as well. Words like holly, candy cane, Christmas tree, and wreath. You can never go wrong with sneaking in a little extra literacy in there, especially when your child is into letters and words (turns out he's hyperlexic).

You'll also notice that I drew a star on the Christmas tree template. The transparent star that we used is from the Dollar Tree. We used them previously for this light table constellation activity. Don't have a transparent/translucent star shaped manipulative? You can use a yellow glass stone instead.

Christmas tree shape made with green glass stones and a star shape on the light table

Once your templates are all done, it's time to set up the invitation to play. Simply place the templates and glass stones on the light table and you're ready to go.

Colored glass stones and a candy cane template on a light table

Your Kids Will Enjoy Creating Christmas Images on the Light Table

The objective of this Christmas activity is to place one of the colored stones on the dots of a matching color. So a red stone on a red dot, a green one on a green dot, etc. So it's a great way to work on colors.

Both of my boys were excited to try this light table activity out once it was all set out. Although, if I'm being honest, they love pretty much anything that has to do with the light table. There is a reason why there are so many fun light table activities here on the blog...

Anyway, my oldest J must have done this activity over and over like fifty billion times...okay, maybe not that much, but you get the idea. He absolutely loved making these Christmas images on the light table.

He'd carefully place the glass stones one by one and then move onto the next image and so on...By the way, glass stones like these are easily one of our favorite light table materials.

Making a Christmas tree on the light table

Playing with glass stones as part of a Christmas light table activity

Christmas light table activity with glass stones

Even my youngest K was really into it. He was concentrating so hard, which is saying something considering he's a lively, busy toddler. His favorite thing to do was to point to the color he needed next, say the name of the color, and carefully place the correct stone onto the template. Kind of similar to what he was doing with this Christmas patterning light table activity.

Putting glass stones on a wreath template on the light table

Toddler playing with glass stones on the light table

Here's what the Christmas designs look like when they are all completed. Don't they look pretty? I mean what a festive light play invitation!

Christmas designs made of glass stones on the light table

Candy cane made of glass stones on the light table

This activity involved a little initial prep to set it up. Not much, mind you. However, it was a complete hit with both of my boys. I think we'll be doing this Christmas light table activity on repeat for a bit.

Simple Christmas light table activity for toddlers and preschoolers that works on color matching