Fall leaves at the light table

Explore the changing colors of fall with a light table!

Before school began this year, I finally decided it was time to invest in a new light table. I wanted a table that could stand alone, be large enough for several children to work on at one time, and have good lighting that worked well even during the day time in a classroom with lots of windows….

After checking around, I finally decided to purchase the light table by Whitney Brothers. So far, I couldn’t be happier! I purchased my light table off of Amazon and all I had to connect was the bottom legs to the light box. It was simple.  I have provided an Amazon link to the table I am using below for those who are interested in learning more…

Leaf Investigations with Light

We have used our light table for lots of different things so far this year and one of our most recent light table explorations was to take a close look at the signs of fall. One of those signs is the changing color of the leaves. Miss Abby collected leaves from around her neighborhood for this process as the leaves on my own property are still all green. But soon the leaves here will change color and we will continue our exploration of the signs of fall outdoors as well as indoors…

DIY Observation Windows

The “windows” that you see the leaves are in are my homemade exploration windows. To make your own exploration windows like ours you will need…

  1. Heavy cardboard (I cut up a white corrugated cardboard science board into small squares that I found at the Dollar Tree. One board makes about 20+ frames and the cardboard also makes great paint or glue canvases for art).
  2. Overhead projector film or some other type of heavy clear plastic that you can cut.
  3. Clear packing tape

I simply cut a frame from the cardboard, then taped a piece of the overhead projector film to the front of the frame and to the back of the frame.  I sealed the leaves in between the sheets of projector film and added tape all the way around the edges to keep the leaves from falling out the sides as the children pick up, turn, or move the observation windows around the table or the classroom…

Fall leaves at the light table Teach Preschool

The children can handle the observation windows easily and without worry of the windows easily coming apart or tearing. I love them and plan to make more as I have time with a variety of materials for the light table…

The DIY observation windows would also work well outdoors for looking at leaves in the sunlight…

Fall leaves at the light table by Teach Preschool

Other Ways to Investigate Leaves

On the light table, I set out the leaves, crayons, and thin paper for the children to trace or draw the leaves if they would like.  One child tried leaf rubbing with the crayon and did find a few vein lines pop up. Another decided the veins from the leaf on his rubbing looked like a treasure map and was off to now search for treasure…

Fall leaves at the light table by Teach Preschool

The children came and went from the light table all through out the morning. They spent time observing, talking, drawing, coloring, and feeling the leaves.  We also had leaves set around the classroom that were not inside a window for the children to explore…

Fall leaves at the light table by Teach Preschool

Exploring Nature in the Classroom

Fall is such an amazing time of year to explore nature through many different ways in the classroom. Light table exploration is just one example of the things we are and will be doing over the next few weeks. I am so glad that we have preschool in the fall. It is such an amazing time of the year!

Fall leaves at the light table by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

DIY bunny game

A fun and interactive way to engage your students! One of our students brought in 3 of her 6 week old bunnies to the classroom

Read More »

Subscribe to My Newsletter

Latest Blog Posts

P is for Pizza!

While learning about the letter “P” we decided to explore with pizza! Pizza is an all-time favorite food for many preschoolers, and activities involving pizza

Read More »