Exploring the light table in preschool

Exploring the light table in preschool

I have several different light tables that I used in my classroom. One is a small one I bought from a school supply store and the others are light tables that I have made using this idea (only I am always changing out the lights and my approach to frosting the top to try and make  it better).  It doesn’t matter which light table I share with the kids, they seem to like it all the same…

The light table is a wonderful way to explore not only light but also colors and shapes and other concepts.  Since we have been having fun with turkeys, I added this colorful turkey game. To make the turkey feathers, I cut up colorful plastic from binder inserts…

Here are some other ideas we have recently used on our light table…

Geometric shapes on the light table

Wooden window blocks on the light table

Water beads on the (homemade) light table

My homemade light table is much larger.  The light isn’t quite the same as the store bought light but it still creates an interesting experience that the children like and I don’t worry about it getting a little water or paint on it…

This is the gel beads in cups of water before they expand – they create a pretty cool experience this way too.

And here they are again about 24 hours later – after sitting all night in the water…

This homemade light table is a large plastic tub with a clear lid. I covered the inside of the lid with frosted contact paper and added two florescent lights.  The inside of the tub is painted with a metallic paint to help reflect the light a little better.  I like it because it gives us a much larger working space…





  • Trisha Posted November 20, 2011 5:39 pm

    Frosted contact paper? Did you frost it yourself? I’ve never seen it–I don’t think. Where did you get it? Does it work better than the frosted spray paint you have used? Sorry for all the questions! 🙂 Thanks.

  • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted November 20, 2011 6:00 pm

    It does work better than the frosted paint because my frosted paint keeps peeling of in spots. I got the frosted contact paper as is from Meijers . It was called Frosted:)

  • Susan Case Posted November 20, 2011 7:17 pm

    That looks so interesting and beautiful. I’ve never seen anything quite like that – you are very creative. What a fun way to learn!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. Posted November 20, 2011 11:41 pm

      It is fun to explore in all kinds of ways with the light table:)

  • Darlene Posted November 30, 2011 10:24 am

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve linked this page to my table light blog entry. 🙂

  • Peggy Lawrence Posted August 20, 2018 7:20 pm

    When using a plastic container on top of the light table to hold sand, what kind of a container is it? Special for the light table or clear plastic shoebox/bin?

    • Deborah Stewart Posted August 20, 2018 7:35 pm

      It’s a clear plastic tray from the Dollar Tree!

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