Who doesn't like light play? Years ago at a Brooklyn light festival, Bring to Light: Nuit Blanche New York I was captivated by artists' explorations into light and color. The festival only lasted two years - but it was amazing. I was completely fascinated by one artist’s creations using old box televisions and PCV tubing.
Light play is an engaging activity for children of all ages--there are so many possible connections and adaptations. It's a wonderful sensory play as children explore light properties, color, & shadow. As children grow, it continues to be a great fine motor activity and can connect to science, literacy, aesthetics, and math easily. Manipulatives can encourage children's early understandings of foundational mathematical concepts such as counting, one to one correspondence, symmetry, and more.
For Christmas my husband gave me a photography light box--and it is amazing! The first time I showed LMF she immediately noticed the flat “button” to change the brightness and turn off the board. I am always amazed by how observant children are and how they can immediately theorize based on their ideas and then put it into action.
So far we keep our light explorations very simple--colored transparent table spoons & straws in a variety of colors. Recently we added small packets of fun--mixed materials in recycled memory card packaging. This inspiration for this came from a visit to The Eric Carle Museum. If you have not been and you are in the northeast, it is worth the journey! Their family, children, and educator workshops are phenomenal. I always leave the museum inspired. If you live too far for a visit, check out their blog! It is overflowing with ideas to spark the imaginations of young children and adults alike.
With my husband in the photographic field we always have lots of memory cards on hand. I took a few to get us started to see how LMF would respond. We chose to fill them with glitter, googily eyes, confetti, and translucent cut ribbon. My husband decided to seal several of the packages with black gaffers tape. Any tape will do--I plan to explore using washi tape in the future.
LMF enjoyed the filled memory card packages. She would pick them up to study, shake them, and hold them.
I hope to explore the light table with laminated tissue paper pieces next.
Here is the plan to make your own memory card light box accessories
Empty clear plastic memory card cases
Interesting opaque, translucent or transparent items that will fit in the cases.
Consider: plastic letters, washi tape, ribbon, beads, glitter, sequins, etc.
Open the memory card case and fill with your selected item. I found that keeping the items similar in one case worked well for us (so I only used ribbon in one case, sequins in another, etc.).
To secure your items seal the case with tape - most kinds will work. I plan on trying out washi tape soon because I think it will be pretty. The black gaffers tape created a nice boarder to the cases.
If you don't have a light box or light table, DIY versions are easy to make - check out Imagination Tree or Tinkerlab for ideas.
Safety Reminders: Adult supervision is highly recommended for all of the activities, ideas, and materials featured on this blog. As parents, guardians, and caregivers, you know your children best and your own comfort level with the different suggested activities. Littleredbarn is not responsible for any injury or damage from reproducing the activities, materials, or ideas from this blog.