DIY Light Table… for under 20 Bucks!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information. Read my full disclosure statement.

 

Make Your Own Light Table

 

Have you seen kids play with light tables in classrooms, museums, or art centers?

 

Light Table

 

There’s just something about the way light shines through different objects – or doesn’t – that’s fascinating to little ones. I hadn’t really thought about how great light play was, or how much kids love it, until I started seeing all sorts of light table sensory play ideas on Pinterest.

If you search Amazon.com or anywhere else on the web for light tables, you’ll see that they’re a bit cost-prohibitive for a budget-wise homeschool mom. That little one pictured above runs over $350 on Amazon.com. Table-top models sell for over $175.

Last week I made a fun, easy, and effective substitute for under $20:

 

Examining our New Light Table

 

Do you want to try it yourself? You’ll need:

  • A plastic storage box (this is the one I bought for $5.99)
  • A strand or two of white mini Christmas lights (these are the ones I bought – I used two, so I spent $10, but if you raid your Christmas light stash, your light box will cost even less!)
  • A drill with a bit the width of the plug end of your lights
  • Duct tape

 

Supplies to Build a Light Table

That’s it! Super cheap… Now, let’s build…

 

First, drill a hole near the lid on one of the short sides:

Drilling a Power Cord Hole in Light Table

 

Next, put your lights inside. Feed the plug through the hole and tape it securely from the inside:

Thread the Lights Through the Hole of the Light Table

Secure with Duct Tape

 

Finally, put the lid on and flip it over. Plug it in and play…

 

Trevor Playing With Water Beads

… with water beads

 

Light Table Play - Jewels, Tulle, and Flowers

… or jewels, tulle, and flowers

 

Light Table Picnic

… or you could invite the dolls for a light-up picnic

 

Light Table Shadows

Light and Shadows

… or you can play with light and shadows using animal figures.

The possibilities are endless, and I’m looking forward to trying new things out as I find them. It’s been really fun to have the kids come down to the school and play area in the morning to an “invitation” set up on the table. I try to light it up with a handful of objects on it, and let them play. I’m amazed to see their creativity come out as they play with this simple toy.

I’d love to hear from you if you try this yourself – or if you already have a light table and use it regularly. What have you “invited” your kids to explore with light? I’m looking for more invitations to offer… so share!

Colleen
  • http://grtlyblesd.blogspot.com/ Shecki Grtlyblesd

    Brilliant! We have totes and lights already… hmm!

    • http://www.raisinglifelonglearners.com/ Colleen Kessler

      Have fun! We love ours..

      Colleen Kessler
      Blogger at Raising Lifelong Learners
      Freelance writer and author of books for kids & teachers
      Connect with me on Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , Instagram , & Google+